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Prayer for the week of Monday, April 16–You Are The Father’s Favorite

April 16, 2012

Shortly after I was ordained, I took a graduate course at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. The professor was an old Dutchman who told the following story: “I’m one of thirteen children. One day when I was playing in the street of our hometown in Holland, I got thirsty and came into the pantry of our house for a glass of water. It was around noon and my father had just come home from work to have lunch. He was sitting at the kitchen table, having a glass of beer with a neighbor. A door separated the kitchen from the pantry and my father didn’t know I was there. The neighbor said to my father, ‘Joe, there’s something I’ve wanted to ask you for a long time, but if it’s too personal, just forget I ever asked.’

‘What is your question?’

“‘Well, you have thirteen children. Out of all of them is there one that is your favorite, one you love more than all the others?'”

The priest continued his story: “I had my ear pressed against the door hoping against hope it would be me. ‘That’s easy,’ my father said. ‘Sure there’s one I love more than all the others. That’s Mary, the twelve-year-old. She just got braces on her teeth and feels awkward and embarrassed that she won’t go out of the house anymore. Oh, but you asked about my favorite. That’s my twenty-three-year-old Peter. His fiancee just broke their engagement, and he is desolate. But the one I really love the most is little Michael. He is totally uncoordinated and terrible in any sport he tries to play. The other kids on the street make fun of him. But, of course, the apple of my eye is Susan. Only twenty-four, living in her own apartment, and developing a drinking problem. I cry for Susan. But I guess of all the kids…’ and my father went on mentioning each of his thirteen children by name.”

The professor ended his story saying: “What I learned was that the one my father loved most was the one who needed him most at the time. And that’s the way the Father of Jesus is: He loves those most who depend on Him, and trust Him in everything. Little He cares whether you’ve been as pure as St. John or as sinful as Mary Magdalene. All that matters is trust. It seems to me that learning how to trust God defines the meaning of Christian living. God doesn’t wait until we have our moral life in order before He starts loving us.”

(Lion and Lamb: The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, by Brennan Manning)

Prodigal Daughter by Charlie Mackesy


This week, let us cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us.  (I Peter 5:7)  Let us lay ourselves before Him, wholly abandoned.  Trust.

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