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Joey's Plea

Joey is one of the two grandsons I have. We love him very much. The other one is Jerome, but he is not with us anymore. I baptized him still-born and we all love him very much also. We know that he is with Jesus and he is praying for us, the family he did not get a chance to know but who loves him to high heavens.

Joey is eight years old and does very much like a boy his age does. But in some ways he is different from many, I think. When he was about two he already exhibited love for Jesus on the cross and he would ask for my crucifixes in my home and car. Whenever we went to Mary's Basilica in Washington, D.C., we would not leave until we brought him to the gift shop where he chose a crucifix he liked.

He must have a good collection of crucifixes already. Up to now he still would process with a crucifix stuck on one end of an empty cardboard cylinder of gift wrapping paper like an altar server at Mass. We will not be surprised if he becomes a priest someday.

One gift of Joey we discovered when he was about three years old is his ability to play on the piano or keyboard any song that he just heard for the first time in church. The tune is correct and he uses both hands on the piano and the harmony is perfect. He can play the national anthem and some other national anthems that way, too.

At his age now Joey has a fascination with science, astronomy especially. And he enjoys playing games on WII and with his bike.

One day, Joey's mom texted us on Viber that Joey had said to her: "Mommy, please love me just as much as you love Maggie." (Maggie is his 4-year-old sister.)

That touched us all in the family. And we felt so much love oozing for him from our hearts. We know that their Mommy loves her children equally like crazy but still, jealousy can occur.

After Joey uttered those words, she hugged him and told him that is what she is doing: Mommy loving Joey just as much as she loves Maggie.

Don't we sometimes get jealous of others who have more of the good things of life and less of the not-so-good things, and therefore seem to be loved more by God, and we express this to Him, but not in so many words?

I think that when his mom hugged Joey and assured him of her love, Joey, a bright boy, with his young mind and sensitive heart, understood. Truly understood.

I also think, that probably, some of us adults have some difficulty seeing that God is fair in His loving all of us, creatures that He made in His image and likeness. But it is good to realize that when His Son stretched His wounded arms on the cross, He embraced each and every one of us just as tightly and just as lovingly.

Whatever station in life we are at, however, rougher our path is that we tread here, we should never lose sight of the fact that He died for us all and wants to take us all unto Himself.

"Greater love than this no man has than to give his life for His friends." (John 15:13) Jesus Himself said that we are his friends. "I no longer call you servants . . . . Instead, I have called you friends." (John 15:15)

We really do not have to say to Him: "Lord, please love me just as much as you love your other children."

That love of God we should never doubt.

Instead, we should ask: "How much have I loved You in return?" #

"When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15)

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