By: Father Boby John, C.S.C. on March 22nd, 2023
God Will Never Forget You - Family Reflection Video
We are in a new phase of Lent. There is no longer a focus on penance, but on promise. Taking its inspiration from the prophet Isaiah, it describes God's promise to Israel. During the Babylonian exile, Israel felt that God had forgotten them because of their grievous sin. They believed God had "kicked them to the curb" or "thrown them under the bus." God uses picturesque figures of speech to reassure them of his love, despite the discipline he had enforced.
Does a woman forget her nursing child or show no compassion for it? he asks. Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.
Former Presbyterian pastor, Isaac Butterworth, recounts a life incident. In his words, “He didn't get involved in the church until he was a teenager, but once he did, he stuck with it. Each day, he would visit the church to see if he could do anything - any little task, any errand, any job. He loved his church quite a lot and was happier there than anywhere else.”
His pastor told him that he was going to Dallas with some other members of his church in a week or so, and asked, “Do you want to go?” “Sure!” the teenager said. He couldn’t think about anything else over the next several days. It was like Christmas; it seemed to him that the day would never arrive. And when it did, he could hardly contain his excitement.
That afternoon, when he got home from school, he did his homework right away, changed clothes, and ensured he was ready when his pastor showed up. They had agreed that his pastor would pick him up at five o’clock, so at five o’clock he was ready to go. He didn’t want anybody having to wait for him.
But, as it turned out, he had to wait for the pastor. Five o’clock came, and the pastor didn’t show. Five-thirty came, and he was getting worried. Six o’clock came, and he called his house, but there was no answer. Six-thirty came, and it finally dawned on him that he had been forgotten.
He was crushed. It was one of the most painful experiences of his life. In those days, his pastor was the most important person to him. He taught him so many things. He helped him earn money for camping. He had even taken him on some calls. But on that trip to Dallas, he wasn't going to be with the pastor. He had been forgotten.
We don't expect some people to forget us, do we? But the truth is, people are people, and all people sometimes forget. In our text, Isaiah asks, “Can a woman forget her nursing child?” Highly unlikely! But it is possible. Like the pastor, mothers are human. We’re all human. We’re all finite. As we read in Isaiah, the Lord says, “Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.” As dedicated as human mothers are, God is even more dedicated.
This means we are permanently in His mind, under His care and protection. That’s the promise God gives us today. Think about it. God compares Himself to a loving mother. The Bible emphasizes the fatherhood of God, but there is also a “motherhood” side to God’s nature that we must not forget. Tertullian said: "God is our Father, but He has a mother's heart."
- Father Boby's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.
Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.