Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.
He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption,in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today, I would like to direct your attention to the series of profound paradoxes found in the first reading: “God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.”
I was 14 years old when my sister gave birth to Christine. I was chosen to be her godfather. She had curly black hair, and she was beautiful, and had the sweetest smile. When her sister was born and soon began to overtake her with her skills, we realized that Christine was mentally handicapped; her brain had been damaged at birth. It took many years for my sister and brother-in-law to come to terms with this great sadness. I think that they thought it was their fault.
One day my faith-filled brother-in-law came to peace about it, and he said to me with tears in his eyes: “You know, Bob, she is the only one of our six children whom I know is going to heaven.” Christine is still alive at age 66, and I will be visiting her just about the time that you are reading this.
—Fr. Robert Braunreuther, S.J., a Jesuit of the New England province, assists in University Ministry at Loyola University Chicago, where he is also minister of the Arrupe House Jesuit community.
Lord of all kindness, we ask your blessing for children who have special needs. We ask for their comfort when their living is hard. May they experience comfort if they ever feel abandoned. May they be blessed with strength to overcome challenges. May they be blessed with friendship to allow them to grow in love.
Lord, we pray for all of our children, that they may realize their dreams and live their lives in the fullness of your love and mercy. May the healing touch of mercy be there for our children. Let our hands be your hands, our words be your words and let your mercy flow through all of us who have your children in our care.
—Adapted from “A Prayer for Our Special Children,” Jan Bentham, OCSBPlease share the Good Word with your friends!