Today’s Scriptures challenge us to ponder anew the depths of relationship among family members. It’s so natural that parents are concerned about their children, that we even see relative “strangers” as brothers and sisters in our human family.
Our reading from Second Samuel helps us appreciate David’s deep love for his son, Absalom – even though Absalom wanted to forcefully take the kingly throne from his father David. Word of Absalom’s death at the hand of Joab while attempting to kill his father brought copious, tear-filled mourning to David. He saw Absalom as his son, not his enemy; he even prayed “…if only I had died instead of you, Absalom my son.”
The Gospel selection from Mark shares the story of the synagogue official, Jairus, pleading with Jesus to come and cure his dying daughter. En route to the official’s home, Jesus is approached by a woman afflicted with long-standing hemorrhages; she touches his cloak, seeking a cure which she then received! Jesus addresses her: “…daughter, your faith has saved you.” Upon arriving at Jairus’ house, Jesus enters and with a word restores the twelve-year-old daughter to full health. In both cases, Jairus and Jesus’ love for family bring about health and life.
Truly we are members of God’s family, loved totally, unconditionally. In Jesus, God is our all-loving Father/Mother/Parent – looking upon us with even greater tenderness and concern that is shown in the stories of David, Jairus, and the woman cited in Mark’s Gospel. God loves us as family, is patient with us, so thoughtful, and always acting on our behalf (even in our sinfulness!). Amazing!
Food for thought this 4th Week of the Church Year: How receptive are we God’s special love? How grateful are we? How do we share God’s love? God’s love gives life and gladdens our soul; may we reflect that life and joy in our every thought, word, and deed!
Fr. John Schork, C.P. is a member of the Passionist community in Chicago, Illinois.