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Friday, July 13, 2007

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St. Henry

Genesis 46:1-7, 28-30
Psalm 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40
Matthew 10:16-23

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life with father

"Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms." —Genesis 46:29

Joseph was the second most powerful man on earth. Yet his heart was anguished because he hadn't seen his father in thirty years. Similarly, a very successful professional athlete was once asked to sum up his feelings toward his great career. He responded that his heart was heavy because his estranged father had never attended any of his games.

I often heard Fr. Al Lauer, founder of One Bread, One Body, teach that our relationship with our earthly father can impact our ability to relate to our heavenly Father. Children abused, belittled, or neglected by their earthly fathers might face a challenge even realizing God the Father loves them, much less being able to trust Him and let Him father them. Children of a loving father are likely to find it easier to trust God the Father (see Catechism, 2214).

Perhaps your father treated you horribly (see Mt 10:21). Nonetheless, forgive him and reach out to him, both for your good and for his. It may seem easier to move mountains than to move the wall between you and your father (Mt 17:20-21). Yet even if all you have is a tiny mustard seed of faith, go with the faith you have.

God turned the world's economy upside-down to restore Joseph and his father. Have faith that He can still do the same today.

Prayer:  Father, "turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers" (Mal 3:24).

Promise:  "Take delight in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart's requests." —Ps 37:4

Praise:  St. Henry, king of Bavaria, came from a holy family. His brother became a bishop, his sister married a saint, and another sister became abbess of a monastery. Finally, his wife also became a canonized saint.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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