Memorial of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, virgin and Doctor of the Church
(Zechariah 8:21-23; Luke 9:51-56)
Mother St. Teresa of Kolkata famously said, “…we can do small things with great love.” She may have had St. Therese of the Child Jesus in mind. Therese spent most of her short life in a Carmelite convent. She wanted to go the missions but knew God intended her to pray for missionaries. She also bore with great patience the travail of tuberculosis and the often irritating life in a cloister. Therese resembled Jesus heading toward Jerusalem in today’s gospel.
The passage represents a turning point in the gospel. Jesus has achieved notoriety as a preacher and healer. He realizes, however, that his mission involves a sacrifice of self in Jerusalem. He does not flinch and wastes no time fussing with uncooperative people. He moves deliberately but graciously to offer himself for the salvation of the world.
St. Therese wrote an autobiography that has attracted a great following. Although she lived a very different external life, she faced the same inner challenges as most people. In love with the personification of love, Jesus Christ, she serves as a model for all.