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NEVER GIVE UP HOPE

Father Francis's picture
Seventh Week of Easter

Acts. 20:28-38 & Jn. 17:11-19.

St. Paul was aware that there is no more deadly obstacle to the spread of the Gospel than divisiveness among those who claim to be Christian. So he warns his hearers to be on their guard remembering all the hard work he had done to build them into a community.

Paul then reviews his life as a missionary. He tells the truth about his accomplishments, how hard he has worked for them, not asking for a penny for his efforts and reminds them of Our Lord’s words, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”

Paul and his converts are aware that time is running out and they are grateful for the sacrifices he has made in bringing the Gospel to them. They weep and embrace him and then escort to the ship and give him back to God.

A lady recently told me a sad story about her children. She had brought them up in the Catholic faith, which meant so much to her, but now not one of them attends church. In spite of all her teaching and example, they seem to have got lost along the way. Today, sadly many a parent can tell a story like that. Jesus knows exactly how that mother feels. His Father gave Him twelve apostles and one failed Him. His very words are, "I watched over them and not one is lost, except the one who chose to be lost, and this was to fulfil the scriptures."

This thought can console many a parent whose child or children have gone off the rails. Parents sometimes blame themselves have gone off the rails. Parents sometimes blame themselves when their children give up the practice of their faith. This may be true if they did not set them a good example and give them their time. If parents have done their best, they can do no more, and they should not reproach themselves. The time comes when their children have to lead their own lives. Only they can make their own decisions as to how to conduct their own lives. For those parents who love their faith there is no greater cross and heartache for them to bear than to see their children rejecting the most precious gift they have children rejecting the most precious gift they have handed on to them.

Like Jesus who prayed for His own, they must never give up praying for their children and never give up hope. Above all, praying for their children and never give up hope. Above all they must never reject them for they need them now more than ever. Let them also remember that God is a parent. His name is Father, and He loves their children more than they will ever do. He never wants to see any one of His children lost from He never wants to see any one of His children lost from His love. The same we can about our Blessed Mother Mary. Knowing this, they can turn to them in solidarity.

Let us pray for those children who have left the faith, that they may one day return and bring joy to God, their heavenly Father, Mary, their Mother and their parents.

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