This week’s eldercare worship service focused on compassion, especially as seen in the life of Mother Teresa, whose birthday was August 27.
I often focus these services on some aspect of the life of faith. For this service, I printed out a large photo of Mother Teresa and held it up, asking “I wonder if anyone recognizes who this is?” Several people did!
During the interactive homily, the elders readily described compassion: “caring, love, being with someone, friendship.” Tying the theme to Jesus’ compassion (Matthew 9: 35-38), I read them a bit of history about Mother Teresa, especially the fact that from just one person caring for another person eventually sprung hundreds of missionary works in more than 130 countries.
At the end of the service, as we talked about what each of us can do, these wise elders came up with beautiful examples of how to be compassionate in everyday life: “Just listen to someone.” “Be helpful.” “Smile at people.” “Tell them you care.” And my personal favorite, “LOVE!”
My favorite Mother Teresa quote that I used during the service:
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”
Postscript: At the Sunday afternoon tea party, I mentioned that Mother Teresa had been canonized as a saint in 2016, and then said, “I don’t really know what the criteria are for sainthood …” There was a pause while people thought about this, and then one woman piped up, “I don’t have to worry about that.” 🙂
Peace be with you,