You know that feeling after you’ve consumed a package each of Sour Patch Kids, Whoppers, and Peanut Butter M&Ms in the darkness of a movie theatre? Maybe you don’t possess my “6 year-old child like love of candy,” but the feeling is two part. I first wonder, “Who ate all my candy?” Then, like a sudden storm rolling in, I feel incredibly thirsty and proceed to drink about gallon of water. This ridiculous self-inflicted feeling pales in comparison to that of another. Hanging on the cross, shortly before his death, Jesus spoke the words “I thirst.” He had to be feeling physically thirsty as he suffered so, but there was an even greater thirst Christ was experiencing. Water couldn’t touch this.
The words “I thirst” can be seen beside each crucifix displayed in The Missionaries of Charity’s chapels. It is a reminder for them of a particular truth. Jesus thirsts for our love. You can walk away from Him, or you can respond with Mother Teresa, “I will be the one.” This summer, we will strive, through our LBH2014 theme, to “be the one.” We will fall deeper in love with Christ and love Him through the people we serve and are in community with, as each individual responds to His thirst.
The more we spend time with Christ, the more we will feed the thirst he has for our individual souls. Christ longs for each one of us, and this summer we will, “try in a special way to come as close as the human heart can come to the Heart of Jesus” (Mother Teresa). On our weeks of LBH, we will continue to build a life of prayer. Through prayer, Mass, Confession, adoration, and daily collatio, we will respond to Christ’s thirst for love.
It isn’t enough, however, to give Christ our love in prayer. He dwells in the hearts of all humankind, and we need to respond to his thirst visible in the needs and suffering of others. If we allow God to open our eyes we will see that, “the greatest evil [in the world] is the lack of love and charity, the terrible indifference towards one’s neighbor” (Mother Teresa). This summer, through the service we do, we will work to restore the dignity of others and put our love for Christ into action.
It is a tall glass to fill (pun intended), but God has an incredible way of blessing the mission of Love Begins Here. We are praying for all the missionaries, chaperones, youth leaders, communities, and individuals being served this summer, as we all prepare and seek to be the one.