I bustled around the kitchen from pan to pan, stirring this one then that, checking the numerous dishes in the oven. I was expecting company, and I wanted everything to be just so. Though it was August, I was single handedly preparing a full Thanksgiving feast at The Hannah House for 10 of my newest MissionCorps friends and the moms at my house.
I knew the danger of getting caught up in the busyness, but I also knew the opportunity it was for me to glorify God and welcome Jesus as a guest to my table. Mother Teresa has been a spiritual role model for me during my service at Maggie’s Place. She was the balance of Martha and Mary from the Bible. This is what I sought to imitate while the smell of turkey filled our house.
St. Teresa’s beautiful love for the Eucharist and devotion to regular Adoration shows the inseparable relationship between spending time with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and serving others. “Our lives must be woven around the Eucharist.” Like St. Teresa, I desire to bring Jesus’ presence to those I serve: the moms, babies, and MissionCorps, such that they see Jesus rather than myself. This is only possible through regular time in Adoration, when my love for Christ increases, my understanding of others expands, and my love for the impoverished becomes more compassionate. The grace that God pours upon me during my Holy Hours is what I am able to bring to the moms and the Corps that I serve. Unless I have Christ, I have nothing to give to others. St. Teresa expressed the importance of this habit when she said,
“The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth.”
I have found that my work and service is in itself a prayer. As I stirred the mashed potatoes, I silently prayed that the food may nourish all those who would eat at the table. We gathered in the Gratitude Circle and voiced the many blessings in our lives, and our Thanksgiving feast seemed so appropriate, even in the middle of August.
The meal drew to an end and I served the pumpkin pie, thanking God for those who donated the ingredients, for such a beautiful opportunity to serve in the wonderful community, and for allowing me to be a channel of His grace: “for it is in giving that we receive.”
By Rachel Niekamp, a MissionCorps member