god's lost and found
"For the sins of my children I am left desolate, because they turned from the law of God." —Baruch 4:12
Is there any greater anguish than that of a godly parent who must watch their child choose to forsake God? (Bar 4:8) "With joy" these parents "fostered" the faith in their children (Bar 4:11). Then, after their child has rejected God, they must "let [the child] go" with "mourning and lament" (Bar 4:11).
If you have experienced this, imagine the experience of God the Father. Could anyone foster children (see Hos 11:4) better than the Father raises every human being? If children rebel against the incomparable "parental" love of the Father, then don't feel like a total failure if your guidance was rejected.
Though your children reject your instruction and no longer listen to your appeals, take courage. "Bear patiently" this situation (Bar 4:25). Know that God is even more of a Parent to your child than you are. He will search diligently though "the wasteland" of your child's life until He has rescued him or her (Lk 15:4).
So "turn now ten times the more to seek" God (Bar 4:28). Jesus is your only Hope, and "those who hope in" Him "shall never be disappointed" (Is 49:23). "Fear is useless. What is needed is trust" (Mk 5:36). Therefore, "trust in Him at all times" (Ps 62:9). "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, and all your household" (Acts 16:31).
Prayer: Father, may I have an eternal family reunion with You in heaven — with no family members missing.
Promise: "He Who has brought disaster upon you will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy." —Bar 4:29
Praise: St. Therese performed the seemingly insignificant things of every day with such great love that all she did was a beautiful offering to God.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
(Our Discipleship Retreat, Ethics of Life, will be held Nov. 4-5, 2005. For information or to register, call 937-205-0128 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005
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