Memorial of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus

Jb 19:21-27; Ps 17:1-3,6,7; Lk 9:46-50 

Saint Theresa was close in Spirit to missionaries of her own day, even though she never left her monastery.  She brought before the LORD the just suit of many and the outcry of all who spoke without lips of deceit.  The needs of the powerless in every country were her needs.  Saint Theresa spent herself in loving intercession for all for whom others had no time.  She wanted the Lord be judge in the midst of injustice and to incline his ear to hear those who have no one listening to them.  The LORD tests the hearts of his saints, searching in the night and trying them with fire.  There is no malice in the hearts of those who love the LORD; there is no anger at the LORD or at those who do not show the poor any compassion.  The saints call upon the Name of the LORD and he answers them; the LORD inclines his ear to them.  The poor in spirit are blessed to behold the wondrous mercies of a Savior of those who flee from their foes to refuge at his right hand.  Holy Job brings his just suit before the LORD and finds refuge in the wondrous mercies of his Savior.  In his humility the New Job, the Lord Jesus Christ is poor in spirit, and from the totally emptiness of the Cross, he fills us with costly grace.

Angels abound in the heavenly courts, even the fallen angel Satan is present before the Divine Majesty.  This rebellious angel seeks to provoke rebellion in the heart of Holy Job, but the LORD’s servant never rebels.  Instead, Job blesses the name of the LORD.  “In all this Job did not sin, nor did he say anything disrespectful of God.”  Would we be so humble?  Would we not instead curse the name of the LORD?  What kind of suffering would provoke anger and cursing?  Would loosing in the stock market?  Would the death of all your children?  What about a terrorist attack?  What about a devastating flood?  It takes a great gift of humility to respond the way Holy Job responded.  Such humility is available only in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Only by carrying our cross every day can we bless the Name of the LORD ceaselessly.  It is the New Job who enables us to move from cursing to blessing in the midst of the mystery of suffering.  Only the Lord Jesus can move us beyond our natural reactions and urges.  His love alone is adequate to cloth our naked pain with the glory of his self-sacrifice that rescues us from the emptiness of mere pain and transforms it into redemptive suffering.

The Lord Jesus sends forth his disciples like lambs among wolves.  They are to travel without money, sack, sandals, and they are to greet no one.  This kind of radical poverty made them ready to rely totally on the Lord Jesus, and the kindness of those to whom they proclaimed the gospel.  When welcomed they are to eat whatever is set before them and cure the sick and proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God.  When unwelcome they are to take courage and warn the inhospitable town that the coming of the Kingdom of God will still take place.  On that day, such inhospitable behavior will not be tolerated.  Only hearts full of joy will be able to bear such rejection and continue to witness without hesitation.  This is the joy that makes our witness radiant.  This is the joy we radiate because we have tasted of the goodness of the Lord, in his own Body and Blood.