Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church
October 1, 2007
I really enjoy this feast day. St. Therese is a great example for each of us today. St. Therese is, in my opinion, the model of how important it is to keep things simple. Simplicity is not a thing most of us do well. We tend to want things complex and we tend to want to be in charge.
Jesus is facing a problem in our Gospel today. the disciples are in a fit. The disciples are arguing about which one of them is top dog. Imagine it. Here the disciples are in the presence of the Savior yet they are more concerned about which one of them is going to get the most glory. Now we may be inclined to think that the disciples are being childish, but don't we do the same thing? How many times do each of us struggle to be in the top spot or what we think is the top spot?
Jesus gives us the moving scene of calling a child to him and elevating that child as the example of what it means to be the greatest, to hold the "top spot". Now, Jesus isn't calling us to act like children! Acting like a child edifies no one! Rather, Jesus is calling us to empty ourselves of our sense of self importance, our sense of independence, our sense of entitlement and become wholly dependent upon God. Children our dependent upon their parents or guardians. A child does not have the luxury of being self sufficient and must rely upon love and generosity. Jesus calls us to live a life of simplicity, humility and dependence upon God.
To be great, each of us must place ourselves upon God's mercy. Being great does not mean a life of perks and praise. Living a life of greatness means that we are to be a servant. To live a life of greatness is a calling to live a life of trust upon God's great love.
Whenever I get into the trap of feeling I am more important than I really am, I like to repeat this mantra to myself: Get over yourself! Get over your sense of entitlement! Get over your feelings of grandiosity! Get over your idea of greatness and let God be in charge! God wants us to get over our selfish, self seeking ways. God wants us to let him be in charge, to realize that it is God who is the greatest and we are wholly dependent upon him! We come and go but God is forever! In comparison, I don't think any of us have room to claim to be the greatest.
You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.
Saint Therese of Lisieux (of the Child Jesus)
Amen, St. Therese. Amen!