Mother Theresa could have had it easy. She was born in Macedonia in 1910 and she lived a comfortable life during her childhood. She could have stayed there – she could have gotten married, had children. But Agnes had a calling – she wanted to serve God. She became a part of the order of the Sisters of Loreto and took the name of Theresa. She was sent to a convent in India, where she served God by teaching upper class girls. But Theresa was not satisfied. She saw the pain and suffering that was being experienced outside the walls of her convent.

Mother Theresa is exceptional because she ministered to the people that no one else wanted to touch – the poor, the lepers, and the elderly. She lived in the streets with them, taught their children, cared for their ill, and showed them the love of Jesus Christ.

Mother Theresa won numerous awards, including a Nobel Peace Prize, for her humanitarian work, but she always remained humble. She felt that she was simply "a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."

Her willingness inspired others. The Missionaries of Charity order was founded by Mother Theresa in 1950, and it continues to work today worldwide helping the poor and unwanted, as well as those suffering from natural disasters.

In a modern day society that is mostly about self, Mother Theresa set out to serve others, without ceremony and without expectation of glory. She taught the world how to serve, and showed us why we should. She saw every encounter as an opportunity to change a life through a helping hand, a kind word or even just a smile.

To most of us, a life like the one Mother Theresa lived is unimaginable. She lived in the slums, working among some of the sickest, poorest, and saddest people in the world. But she found joy in serving others and in serving Jesus Christ. Each day was an opportunity for her to reach out to someone and say to them, "You are not alone. I love you and most importantly, Christ loves you."

Mother Theresa passed away in 1997. But her work isn't finished, because it is the work of Jesus that she carried out. Each one of us can do the kind of work she did. Mother Theresa reached thousands of people, but she started with just one at the beginning of every day. There are so many opportunities for each of us to show the love of Christ to others. So today, look around your community. Find the one person whose day you can make better, the one person who you can show love to, and do it. We can discover what Mother Theresa learned – "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...