I Knew Thee Before Thou Camest Forth Out Of The Womb.

 I Knew Thee Before Thou Camest Forth Out Of The Womb.

The Lord called Jeremiah when he was a young man (Jeremiah 1:5,6) and said to him, "Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations. And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child." God knew Jeremiah even before his body was formed in his mother's womb. There is a lot of dispute nowadays about whether an embryo is a human being or not. Here is a verse that should clear that doubt forever - because God says He knew Jeremiah before he was formed. When Jeremiah was a microscopic speck in his mother's womb, God knew him and consecrated him to be a prophet. That is a great encouragement for us - to know that God had His eye on us even when we were just microscopic specks just conceived in our mother's wombs. He has a plan for our lives just as He had a plan for Jeremiah.

Just imagine, when Jeremiah went through all those difficulties, how this thought must have encouraged him: "I am facing a lot of difficulties right now. But God knew me when I was in my mother's womb and He planned my life then. And that plan will be fulfilled. I am going to yield to God utterly." All of us too should think about that whenever we face trials and difficulties. God chose you before you were born and His plan for your life will be fulfilled. So don't ever get discouraged.

Then Jeremiah said, "Lord, behold, I cannot speak" It is amazing how God picks up people to be prophets who are not good at public speaking. Moses was like that. He also said, "Lord, I am unable to speak publicly." I want to encourage all of you. Don't think that God cannot use you to share His word just because you don't have the ability to speak or the boldness to share the gospel with others. The Lord said to Moses, "I made man's mouth. Can't I then make you speak?" If you allow God to break you and to fill you with His Holy Spirit, He can make you also His spokesman. It all depends on your walk with God.

And one more thing: Don't ever say to God, "Lord, for I am a child. I'm to young”. If God calls you and consecrates you, your age won't make any difference. You don't have to wait until you are an old man before you start serving the Lord. As soon as you feel a burden in your heart, seek God to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and go forth and proclaim the word of God.

Here are a few inspiring examples:

St. Dominic Savio – Age 14

St. Dominic Savio died at the age of 14 in 1857. When he was canonized a saint in 1954 by Pope Pius XII, he was the youngest person ever to have been canonized a saint by the Catholic Church without being some sort of martyr.

Born and raised in Italy, Dominic showed signs of sanctity early on. When he was just 4 years old Dominic was frequently found by his parents in solitary prayer. He learned to be an altar boy at age 5, and if he got to the church before the priest unlocked the doors in the morning, he would kneel (in the mud, snow, whatever) until the priest arrived. When he was just 7 years old, he wrote in his journal that he had four rules:

1) I will go to Confession often, and as frequently to Holy Communion as my confessor allows.

2) I wish to sanctify the Sundays and festivals in a special manner.

3) My friends shall be Jesus and Mary.

4) Death rather than sin.

He happened to attend the school of St. John Bosco, and John became a mentor for Dominic.

St. Maria Goretti – Age 11

St. Maria was the third of seven children in a poor farming family. When she was nine years old, her father died, leaving her family even more destitute. To survive, their family moved in with another family. During the day, most of Maria’s siblings along with their mother would work the fields, while Maria would watch her baby sister, manage the house, and cook meals. It was a hard life, but they were devoted Christians and were close to one another.

One day when Maria was just 11 years old, the 20-year-old son of the family whose house they were sharing, Alessandro, came home early from his work when he knew that she would be alone (except for the infant she was watching). He had asked her to have sex with him twice before and she had always refused. Wanting to rape her now, he brandished a knife and demanded that she submit to him. She refused, telling him that what he wanted to do was mortal sin, and warned him that he could go to hell for it. She fought him, screaming, “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!”

Furious, Alessandro first tried to choke her. When she continued to resist, he stabbed her 11 times. Injured badly but still alive, Maria tried to move toward the door. But he approached her again, stabbed her 3 more times, and then fled.

The baby woke up from the commotion and started crying. When Maria’s mother and Alessandro’s father came to check on the baby, they found Maria and rushed her to the hospital. She explained to her mother and the police what had happened, expressed forgiveness for Alessandro, and died soon after.

Alessandro was captured and sentenced to 30 years in prison. Though he was unrepentant for the first several years, he says that Maria visited him in a dream. Years later when he was released from prison, he apologized and sought forgiveness from Maria’s mother, and received communion the next day. He said he would pray to Maria every day, calling her “his little saint.” Amazingly, he attended Maria’s canonization in 1950 and became a lay brother of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin.

St. Agnes of Rome – Age 13

St. Agnes was born to a noble Christian family in A.D. 291. She was a beautiful young girl and, combined with her noble background, had many suitors. She had intense devotion to her faith however, wished to remain a virgin for the kingdom of God, and showed little interest in the suitors. Offended, some of them reported to the Roman authorities that she was a Christian.

Refusing to renounce her faith, a Roman official ordered that she be stripped naked and dragged through the streets to a brothel. In one version of her story, her hair miraculously grew long and covered her body. At the brothel, any man who tried to rape her was immediately made blind.

Undaunted, she was eventually tried in court and sentenced to death. Soldiers tied to her to stake, but when they lit the fire, she wouldn’t burn. So a Roman officer stabbed her with his sword, finally killing her.

The Lord told Jeremiah, "Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak." (Jeremiah 1:7). And then the Lord spoke a word to him that He often spoke to His prophets: "Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord."(Jeremiah 1:8). One big advantage that all the true prophets had was this: that the Lord was with them. Therefore they were not afraid of any man. That is the way we need to serve the Lord today as well. The Lord must be with us.

The Lord touched Jeremiah's mouth and told him, "Behold I have given my words in thy mouth:" God did the same for Isaiah too.

The Lord went on to encourage Jeremiah saying, "They shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." (Jeremiah 1:19).