Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Parental love

The readings of the day speak of parental love.  While in the first one there is Absalom being killed and David, his father, mourning his death, in the Gospel we hear the anguish of Jairus as he pleads with Jesus to heal his daughter.  It is interesting to note that while one begins with life and ends in death (of Absalom) the other begins with grave illness, then death and ends in life (regarding Jairus' daughter). 

David is actually in hiding, afraid of his son Absalom.  However instead of rejoicing at his death, he mourns.  The first question David asks the messenger when he utters that his enemies have been vanquished, is the well being of young Absalom.  And when he comes to know that he is no more, David weeps and mourns.  "If only I had died instead of you...."  In the case of Jairus, he is a synagogue official, a Jew of high standing. Yet for love of his daughter he does not hesitate to approach Jesus a 'rebel', a mendicant, a wanderer. 

These readings remind me of the ancient fable narrated about the young man who, out of greed agrees to kill his own mother.  While he is riding back with the head of his mother, whom he beheaded, he stumbles and as he falls, the 'mother' asks him with great concern if he is fine and has not hurt himself.  Rather than curse or be happy, she even in death, murdered by her own son, still is concerned for his well-being. 

Those of us blessed and nurtured in such a strong parental love, understanding God as the Father comes easy.  For those not so fortunate, these episodes offer a glimpse of what love of parents most often is.  

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