God Cares for His Children — Funeral Homily for Andrew Bohl, 28

By Fr. Victor Feltes

More than twenty-eight years ago, God blessed Andrew’s parents, Cletus and Amy, to conceive another child. In the midst of their pregnancy, prenatal screening revealed that their unborn son had a nervous system disorder called spina bifida. Their doctor said this meant their child would have a low quality of life and be a constant burden. He strongly recommended that they choose the Culture of Death’s solution, its final solution to every problem. But Andrew’s parents adamantly refused. They would love and care for their child in spite of any malady.

When Andrew was six years old, he spent two months in a children’s hospital. And while he was being treated there, this ailing boy came very close to dying. His mother cannot forget one episode at that hospital when she heard an emergency announced over the PA system. She ran back upstairs to Andrew’s room and, as she had feared, found that her son was the patient who was coding. But his care team, gathered around him, resuscitated Andrew from the edge of death.

After he returned home from the hospital, Andrew insisted on visiting his beloved maternal grandmother. Upon arriving at Grandma Lelah’s house, he crawled out of his wheelchair, laid down on the grass, and gazed up at the sky. He called his grandma over and asked her, “Did you see Jesus, too?” “No,” she replied, “When did you?” “When there was lots of people in the room and mom was crying. [Jesus] said it would be O.K. because he takes care of the sick children.” Grandma offered Andrew her explanation that “only special people get to see Jesus.” But Andrew, ever the debater, argued with her saying that she was such a special person that she should get to see Jesus, too.

Later that same year, the Children’s Wish Foundation sponsored a Florida vacation for Andrew and his family. On the jet flight, looking out the window at the white, puffy clouds, Andrew excitedly told his brother, Matthew, “This is what it looked like when I saw Jesus!

In our lives, we all experience both glorious mountaintop moments and difficult days in dark valleys. We can see this in Andrew’s life. He has experiencing both strength and weakness, such as being able to do more push-ups than all his peers from having propelled himself everywhere in his wheelchair. Andrew has lived through sorrows and joys. He never wanted others to think of him as different, and truly indeed, we are the same.

Do we not share the same heavenly father, God, and the same spiritual mother, Mary, who love us dearly? Is not our Lord Jesus Christ every Christian’s brother? Are not we all, each and every one of us, ailing and weak in various ways? Yet God the Father loves and cares for all of his children in spite of any malady. And Jesus assures us that things will be O.K. because he takes care of the sick children — that is to say, you and me. Christ desires for everyone to see him, because all of us are so special to him. Our Lord blessed Andrew in this life and accompanied him through his trials. Today we pray our brother Andrew may behold Jesus Christ again, in his full glory and forever.

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