For Mother Teresa, one Scripture passage seemed to stand out among the rest as a constant companion, a friend to whom she turned often and found purpose and joy. Matt. 25:35-40 was the wind behind the sail of her ministry in the slums of Calcutta (Kolkata), India.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
She was unique in her ability to meet Christ in the desperate, the hurting, and the outcast. It’s as if, in the skin lesions of the leper, she, quite literally, tended to the chunks of skin ripped off the back of Christ by the Roman flagrum. As she bathed the dirty, abandoned children, she wiped the sweat and blood off the brow of Christ. Their dry mouths and cracked lips were the dry mouth and cracked lips of Christ on the cross when, air being illusive, he managed, “I thirst” (John 19:28).
This is no social gospel.
This is the language of worship. It’s something beautiful for God.