Thursday Eleventh Week Ordinary Time at Ferdinand Benedictines

[Scripture Readings: 2 Cor 11:1-11; Mt.6:7-15 ]

Once there was a cheerful, bouncy, eight year old girl who fell in love with a necklace of costume jewelry, a string of pearls. She pleaded with her father, “Please, Daddy, can I have it, please?” It wasn't cheap, twenty-five dollars to be exact. “Please,” she said, “please?” Her father loved Jenny, and bought it. When she wore the necklace it made her feel beautiful and grown up.

Every night when she was ready for bed, her father came upstairs and read a story to her. One night when he finished reading he asked, “Do you love me?” Little Jenny replied, “Oh yes, Daddy, you know I love you.” Then he said, “May I have your pearl necklace?” She laughed saying, “Daddy! You can't wear pearls.” He also laughed and said, “I guess you're right,” and he kissed her good night.

The next evening, when Jenny's father finished reading a story he said, “Do you love me?” “Daddy, I do, I do,” she replied with a beautiful smile and shining eyes. Again he asked the unthinkable, “May I have your pearls?” This time she didn't laugh, but looking straight into his eyes she said, “Oh, let me give you my kisses instead.” He kissed her saying, “Thank you, Honey. Daddy loves you.”

The next night he asked the same question. Jenny was shaken, “Please, Daddy, not my pearls, please? You know I love you.” And he did. So he said to her, “Yes, Jenny, and I love you too, you are so precious.”

Once again, the following night he came to read a bedtime story. When he entered the room Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came closer, he noticed her chin was trembling and a tear rolled down her cheek. “What is it, Jenny, what's the matter?” She extended her hands toward him, and there, resting in her palms, was the pearl necklace. With a quiver and a smile she said, “Here, Daddy, it's for you. I want you to have it. I love you.” With tears in his own eyes, Jenny's father reached out with one hand and took away the string of costume pearls. With the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a golden strand of genuine pearls and gave them to her. She opened her mouth wide, gasping at their beauty, and then she flung her arms around his neck kissing him with tears of joy. All the time he was waiting for her to give up her attachment to a costume necklace out of love for him and he would give her genuine treasure.

If we do not experience the joy of giving up whatever is asked of us, perhaps it is because we are painfully attached to our costume jewelry. Whatever it costs, nothing comes close to the infinite value of God's love for us. So, that is why we pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven….your will be done.”