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Learning about Jesus from Mama Clotilde

Laurent Khonde Badia     Jan 22, 2016 11:48:00 AM


Throughout the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, we can see the fundamental and central message of the importance of love for one another. His teachings and acts emphasize the emptiness of a society engulfed by egocentricity.

However, I sense a level of indifference to the plight of many of the “lesser” among us- a “survival of the fittest” mentality.

Many people dismiss this phenomenon by declaring “Such is life,” as if to say there is nothing we can do. In a religious context, this attitude can simultaneously exploit faith as a “lucky charm” for those of good fortune, and a placebo without real remedy for the miserable.

With careful reflection, we understand there are no such contradictions in Jesus’ teachings. By allowing these teachings to penetrate our hearts, the message of how we all- rich or poor, weak or strong- are called to respond to one another is clear.

Mama Clotilde is an exceptional retired member of our parish living out the Gospel message 

Mama Clotilde is an exceptional retired member of our parish who is living these Gospel messages, particularly with regard to the poor, uneducated, desperate children of our parish. I see her as being motivated by Jesus. She is the pure incarnation of God’s love, paying special attention to the marginalized of our society.

By volunteering her time and attention for these needy children, Mama Clotilde expresses deep love and compassion. She wants to share the best that she has with these young victims of poverty and abandonment: a basic education. She knows that the lack of basic language and math literacy is like a prison sentence for the young, so she does her best to free these children to enjoy a future with hope.

Mama Clotilde wants to give them the opportunity to be able to defend themselves

Mama Clotilde wants to give them the opportunity to be able to defend themselves in the human jungle that is society today. I am always impressed by the smile and joy she displays in sharing her care and expertise in the classroom. She has taken the gifts entrusted to her by God and put them to work.

We honor our Christian calling when we are conscious and responsive to the needs of those around us

Mama Clotilde understands that the judgment of the Supreme Judge will focus on acts of love we pose every day for our brothers and sisters. I see a profound lesson from Mama Clotilde. She did not have to volunteer to help these children, to spend hours in a small, hot room and physically tax herself in her retirement. But Mama Clotilde refused to say to these children, “Such is life.”

What can we do? One thing is clear: we must be realistic and work within our resources. We try to focus our attention on what we can manage instead of what we cannot: perhaps a more suitable space for Mama Clotilde to continue working with, and taking on, more children? We hope to achieve this, God willing.

God bless your kindness to our mission endeavors.

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Topics: Stories from the Field, Pastoral Work

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About This Blog

Missionhurst Missionaries build Catholic communities in frontier situations: places where the gospel is not preached or lived. This blog is about their work in the four corners of the globe, and their holistic work in four areas of focus: relief and healthcare, socio-economic development, education, and pastoral work.

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