#1: Holy Hummingbirds through Daily Mass with St. Teresa of Calcutta

The first way that we can grow in becoming “holy hummingbirds” for Christ like St. Teresa of Calcutta is through devout participation in daily Mass. 

When Jesus celebrated His first Mass on Holy Thursday, He was confronted with a very difficult choice. Let me explain. 

After three years of public ministry with His Apostles, pouring His life into training these twelve men to develop the “eyes of faith” and carry on His saving mission throughout the world, Jesus finally arrived at the event He “desired” the most of all: the Last Supper (see Luke 22:15).

On this holy night, Jesus had planned to institute both the Sacrament of His Love, the Eucharist, and the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the Priesthood, to continually make present God’s redeeming love throughout the world until the end of time. 

And yet, on the verge of such an extreme act of love, as He sat at table with His Apostles, Jesus knew full well that He had two options before Him.

On the night He was betrayed…

Would our Lord choose to live like a vulture and focus on what was dead, smelly, and lifeless? Like the betrayal of Judas, the denial of Peter, and the abuse of the Eucharist from so many hardened hearts for the centuries to come?

Or would our Lord choose to live like a hummingbird and focus on what was beautiful, life-giving, and sweet? Like the heartfelt devotion of John the Beloved, the faithfulness of His Blessed Mother, and the ardent love of so many Eucharistic Saints for the centuries to come?

Stay with these two options for a minute. Allow the difficulty of the moment to sink in. If you were our Lord, what option would you have chosen? 

If I’m honest, it would have been very easy for me to stop the whole thing and wait until the Apostles proved themselves worthy of such a great act of love.

But thankfully, our Lord is not me and He chose the second option.

“On the night He was betrayed, He gave thanks.”

The Last Supper, Carl Heinrich Bloch, late 19th century

Wow. Gratitude in the face of betrayal. Thanksgiving in the midst of heartbreak. What a heroic decision from our Lord to live like a “holy hummingbird” during one of the most difficult moments of His life.

Jesus certainly had the “eyes of faith” to look for what was beautiful, life-giving, and sweet on Holy Thursday.

I’m confident that the celebration of this first Mass gave Jesus the strength to live as a “holy hummingbird” throughout the remainder of His passion and death. 

And this same grace – this same ability to live like a “holy hummingbird” and seek that beautiful and life-giving nectar of God’s loving presence and influence in the harsh environment of this world – is waiting for us to receive at every Mass.

For Mother Teresa, this was certainly a grace she eagerly desired to receive every time she went to Holy Communion. 

Speaking of her life with the MC sisters, Mother Teresa said that “[t]he most important part of the day is our Mass” and that their entire “lives are very much woven with the Eucharist.”

Another time Mother Teresa said: “Jesus deliberately left us the Eucharist, lest we forget all that He came to show and to do” (WTL 53). 

As a result, Mother Teresa’s decision to live as a “holy hummingbird” in the midst of one of the most difficult places in the world: Calcutta, India, was simply a choice to imitate Jesus, who lived as a “holy hummingbird” during one of the most difficult moments in His life: Holy Thursday.

How about us? Has the celebration of the Mass transformed us into “holy hummingbirds” for Christ? When we go forth and Mass is ended, do we have the “eyes of faith” to see what is good, beautiful, and life-giving in the harsh environment of this world?

To conclude: What is 1 thing you want to remember from this reflection?

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