"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."1
Mike Barnicle, a former columnist for the Boston Globe and more recently with the New York Daily News, tells about a baby born to Mary Teresa Hickey and her husband in 1945. The parents came from Cork, Ireland. The baby was a Down's Syndrome boy. Mary Teresa held the baby tightly, saying, "He's ours and we love him. He is God's chosen one."
The family lived in the Dorchester section of Boston. Their other boy was Jimmy. The dad died young of a heart attack, and Mary was left to raise the two boys, nine-year-old Jimmy and seven-year-old Danny. To pay the rent she scrubbed floors at a chronic care hospital.
Jimmy took good care of Danny. Dan felt at home with all the kids because no one told him he was different. Then one day, as they were boarding a trackless trolley, some strange kids shouted, "No morons on the bus!" That was the day Jimmy Hickey learned to fight. It was also the day Jimmy decided to be a priest. Little Danny attended the Kennedy school in Brighton and eventually obtained a job.
In 1991, Mary Teresa Hickey died at age ninety-one after showering her sons with unyielding love all their lives. Father Jim Hickey had been a priest for thirty years. In every parish to which he was assigned, Danny went along with him. The people were favored with both men.
In October 1997, Danny was in the hospital. His fifty-two-year-old body was failing. One night when ordinary people were eating supper, watching a ball game or going to a movie, a simple story of brotherly love played itself out at the bedside of a man who never felt sorry for himself or thought he was different.
Father Jim held his brother and asked, "Do you trust me, Danny?"
"I trust you."
"You're going to be OK."
"I be OK."
Eight hundred people stood in line at his wake. Parishioners packed the church for his funeral. They sang and cried and prayed. Later that day, Daniel Jeremiah Hickey was gently laid beside his parents at New Calvary cemetery. The granite headstone bore his name and the inscription: "God's Chosen."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, thank you for your promise that you are preparing a place in Heaven for all who have accepted you as their Lord and Savior and have put their trust in you. All of these are your chosen ones too. Thank you for this blessed hope knowing that when our time on earth is over, we will go to be with you in Heaven and live with you forever. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
NOTE: To discover how you can be a chosen one of God, be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at: www.actsweb.org/christian.
1. Jesus in John 14:1-3 (NIV)
2. Reverend Dr. Gary Nicolosi, Sermon: "God's Chosen."