Therese was the youngest of nine children and one of five daughters who lived to adulthood. She was born January 2, 1873 and died September 30, 1897, at the age of twenty-four. Therese entered a Carmelite convent at the age of fifteen and desired to have communion with God through total self-giving. This young girl desired to love the Lord greatly and to conduct all her affairs with love. Therese did the ordinary with great care and delight.
In the Gospel for today, we see a shift in the direction of Jesus’ life towards Jerusalem—a place where he will experience rejection, suffering, and eventually death. Therese also was accustomed to infirmity and suffering. She was a mystic and lover of God; one who knew God intimately, who was, at times, subjected to darkness within her prayer life as well. May we be inspired to do all acts—especially small ones—with love and with a desire to surrender more completely to the will of almighty God.
In today’s Gospel, James and John react to the Samaritans in a very human and even vengeful way. Jesus rebukes them, and as the Good Shepherd, he continues toward Jerusalem to complete his mission: his death and resurrection—God’s greatest act of love.
Saint Therese of Lisieux, pray for us.