Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church

(Zechariah 8:20-23; Luke 9:51-56)

Little flower,
in this hour
show thy power.

An extraordinary minister of Holy Communion prays this prayer as she visits hospital patients.  As St. Therese of the Child Jesus often appears, the prayer exudes simplicity and faith.  Over the years it has given solace to many sick people.  It also reflects the way of Jesus in the gospel today.

The disciples are insulted by the Samaritan townspeople’s rejection of Jesus.  James and John want to destroy their village with fire.  But Jesus has a better way of showing authority.  He ignores the affront and moves on to Jerusalem where his power will be seen in the cross and the resurrection.

The life of St. Therese of Lisieux is at once very different and very similar to that of Jesus.  As such it serves as a model for all of us.  She lived in a monastery and died of natural causes.  Jesus, of course, was an itinerant preacher who died on a cross.  Both, however, gave themselves to perfect love of God and neighbor.  We should do likewise.