First Things First

Posted September 19, 2008

The tiny daughter of a businessman wandered away from him at a shopping mall, and was lost for several hours. Later, her father told his friend, “I had urgent office work to be done, but I couldn’t even begin to think of that during those torturous hours. I could only pray, ‘God, my child is lost; help me find her!’ At that time God’s grace enabled me to feel a tiny bit of the divine anguish that our heavenly Father feels when a soul wanders away from him.”

All of God’s many concerns regarding his creation are light compared to the urgency of his desire to save even one soul: “God our Savior wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” How do we know this is God’s greatest Concern? Because he paid the ultimate price to attain it: he “gave himself as a ransom for all men” (1 Tm 2:6). And his redemptive motive is touching: “He rescued me because he delighted in me. ”

Think again about the anguished love of the man whose daughter was lost in the mall, and its analogy with God’s love. How can it be that God regards my soul and every soul as precious, and yet I can regard it so casually? God’s exquisite love for souls should be replicated in my zeal for my own soul and that of others. All who are precious to him should be precious to me.

Hold on to my hand, Lord, and Use me to reach out to others.

Fr. John Hampsch, CMF – from “One-Minute Meditations for Busy People”