I have seen crowds of these young people come to Calcutta, and when they get there, they don’t want to work anywhere else, only in our home for the dying. Why is that? Because they meet there the suffering Christ! Most of them tell me the same thing: “There is this same kind of suffering back in our country, but we never really saw it. We never looked! You have taught us to look, and to see, and to find Jesus in what we see, and to do something to help.”
This is the kind of hunger we see in these young people, who often come to us to share our adoration, but we also see them coming from all over the world to experience Hinduism, and often they are caught up in it. When they do come back to us I ask them, “Isn’t Jesus enough for you?” They answer, “But no one ever gave us Jesus in this way before.”
Doing this is your job! You priests must give Jesus to our young people. I am sure you know better than I about their tremendous longing for God. To help the destitute people in our homes, we see these young people washing and cleaning, and doing other humble jobs, showing so much tenderness and love to those who are dying. After a while, many of them again go to confession, and come back to our Lord. That’s how this contact with the presence of Christ in the poor blesses them.
I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior... You are precious in my eyes and glorious,... Fear not, for I am with you (Is. 43:1-5).
This is the way Scripture so clearly expresses the tenderness of God’s love for us. He wants us to communicate that same tenderness and love to all His people. He chose you to be priests, so that He could use you in this way. As even that minister of social welfare in New Delhi could see, you were not chosen just to become other social workers. No, God wants to be able to use your holiness, and consecrated virginity, obedience and poverty to bring his love to his people. You may not be called, as our sisters are, to the task of giving wholehearted service to the poorest of God’s poor, but whatever work God called you to must be done with a love that flows from the total consecration of your lives.
Something very beautiful is written in the Constitution of our sisters: “Christ offers to you and to me a long life of faithful and personal friendship, espousing himself to us in tenderness and love. And to make our oneness with Him an even more beautiful reality, He gives us the Eucharist.” You priests must have this friendship with Jesus, so that we can learn form you how to live a life of holiness. Even more than others, we religious need this lesson from you, for we cannot give to others something that we ourselves do not possess.