Do small things with great love


Not all of us can do great things,” Blessed Mother Teresa said.  “But we can do small things with great love.”

In preparing  for the coming of Baby Jesus and for his glorious Second Coming, I realize that I fall far short of being holy.  Thinking back to the Nativity scene, I feel that Mary and Joseph, as holy as they were, must have longed to do great things to celebrate Jesus’ birth.  But they had nothing, no gifts, no shelter, nothing to give Him.  Like me, what can I give Him Who has everything?

Author Maura McKeegan in her article on the website lists 5 things that Mary and Joseph did, that we can do .  Small things with great love!

The light of our smiles.  Mother Teresa tells us that every time we smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.  I have found that smiles are contagious; if I smile sincerely at someone, they will smile back at me.  Sometimes a smile comes freely; other times it is so hard to smile and takes a lot of effort (especially if you don’t like the other person).  We should remember that every smile can be a sign of love for the Baby Jesus.

Look at Him with love.  See Jesus in others.  Jesus knew the power of one look.  Mark 10:21 relates that “Jesus, looking at him, loved him.”  Joseph and Mary looked upon the Babe in the manger with eyes and hearts of great love.  Each of us is made in His image.  Mary and Joseph, help me to see Jesus in everyone I meet and to look upon that person with love.

Hold Him.  In Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph had the incredible blessing of cradling the newborn Babe in their arms, of holding Him close to their hearts.  We have all heard accounts of how the suffering of a person can be relieved by the simple warmth of human touch.  When we hug our children and grandchildren, when we comfort a grieving person by just holding their hands, when we reach out and touch someone in love, we are touching and holding the Christ Child, too.

Sing to Him.  The angels sang to the little Baby.  Throughout Scripture we read that the believers sang hymns of praise and adoration.  With our voices and our hearts singing in unison, we can make beautiful melodies for God.

Adore the tiny Word.  Jesus is the Word made flesh.  In Scripture the infinite God is present in each little verse, in each word.  Reading and meditating on even just one Word or verse leads me to adore the tiny Child with a deeper understanding of how God is present in even the smallest things.

Small things that contain great love.  Small things contain the love and grace of the great God.  This leads me to realize that it does not matter how holy or unholy I am as long as I do small things with great love … like Mary and Joseph did in Bethlehem, as did the little shepherd boy who gazed upon the Christ Child with love.

My Advent prayer now becomes a prayer to be able to recognize Him in His smallness, and in His greatness, with a true and perfect, from the heart, love when He arrives this Christmas.