On September 4, I become a third-class relic.
Scott, what is the big deal about the date. Own it. You are old. You are a relic already. Seriously, you are the king of the bad “dad joke;” you, relic, you. And third-class? A bit presumptive on such a high rating, is that not?
On September 4, Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized as a saint of the Church. In our Year of Mercy, we recognize Mother Teresa as a model. Her entire life and being showed the centrality of prayer, charity, and mercy in action. “Mother Teresa untiringly invites us to draw from the source of love: Jesus crucified and risen, present in the sacrament of the Eucharist,” Pope Francis once wrote. She began her day with Mass and ended her nights with eucharistic adoration, which made it possible “to transform her work into prayer.” This life of prayer led her to the extreme edges of society — the peripheries — recognizing the poor and the marginalized as her brothers and sisters and offering them compassion, claimed Pope Francis.
Mother Teresa with Pope John Paul II in 1997
As for me? I become a third-class relic.
A caveat: I am pretty sure that I do not get the whole relic thing anyway. I understand that there are three classes of relics:
- the first is part of the saint’s body and is the type placed in the altar stone;
- the second is part of the clothing or anything used during the saint’s life;
- the third is any other object, such as a piece of cloth that has been touched to a first class relic.
In the spring of 1996, Mother Teresa made a brief visit to Baltimore and I was right there. I came in very close proximity of her… But did not shake her hand. OK, so we did not touch. This probably ruins my whole third class relic claim… But I was that close to a saint! And by her witness and example, she touched me.
I aspire to live a saintly life. Yep, I fail at that daily, sometimes hourly. I seek to draw from the source of love: Jesus crucified and risen, present in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
And I seek to touch the lives of others (in all sorts of safe environment sorts of ways)
- I send out youth ministry e-newsletters. I hope that I have curated content that touches the hopes and hurts within others
- I speak the Good News. I yearn to speak of the living Lord and not just of my own meager life.
- I can not always control my resting face. Yet, I do desire to bring a smile of love, consolation, and confidence to others in my life, even strangers.
So, that is how I hope to somehow achieve the whole third class relic status. How has Teresa of Calcutta or any of the communion of saints touched into your life? How is your relic status coming along?