2 Sam 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30 - 19:3 / Mark 5:21-43
Absalom is killed: David mourned his son.
Some years ago, the Amarillo Globe carried the letter of a father to his dead son. The boy had been killed in Vietnam. The father described to his son the moment he heard the news in these moving words: “How can I tell you how much like death life was at that instant? I pictured you as clearly as I have ever seen you. . . . You, Mike, shot down in battle? Preposterous, a lie. That you could have lain dead for days without our having known it, or sensed it, was impossible.” This father, like David, mourned the loss of his son. He would have given anything for a few hours with his son to tell him how much he loved him.
How do we express our love for the members of our family—in an explicit way?
Lord, help us
show our love for others, concretely,
just as you showed your love for us, concretely.
Fathers are not often portrayed for their affectionate love. They may be given the image of a provider, a disciplinarian and the head of the house as well as other masculine attributes. But just how affectionate can fathers be?
In today's two readings, we saw the affectionate side of fatherhood. In the 1st reading, even though Absalom rebelled against his father David, yet when he was killed, David wept openly for him.
In the gospel, Jairus put aside his status of being a synagogue official to come to Jesus and plead for his daughter's life. As we reflect and meditate on the two readings, there are two thoughts that could come to mind. No matter how much we have rebelled against God and how far we have turned from Him, God still loves us and searches for us so that we can return to Him.
Also God wants to heal us of our physical infirmities and cleanse our hearts of sin so that we can truly live life in Him. Jesus came to save us and to restore our life in God. Let us have faith in Him, for it is our faith in Jesus that will save us.
Tuesday of 4th Week: Liturgy
POWER WENT OUT FROM HIM
Absalom is defeated and killed. The victory of the king’s army turns into a party of mourning, for notwithstanding Absalom’s rebellion, David still loved him very much.
Jesus uses his power to do good and to give an object lesson on faith to his disciples and to the people. It is a power that gives health and life. When the woman touches Jesus with a sort of magic belief in his power, he insists on faith; so he does when, as a sign of his own resurrection, he brings Jairus’ daughter back to life. Should power in us not mean also a power that lifts up, a power of resurrection?
Almighty Father, often we hunger for power
when we don’t have it,
we ask for more when we possess it,
and then we don’t know how to use it well.
Help us always to accept the power
of our influence, our potentials and talents
as gifts coming from your hands
and to use them for the good of others,
to heal and to forgive,
to bring life and to build up,
as Jesus did, your Son,
who lives with you for ever.
With his great gifts of leadership and governance, David remains an outstanding biblical personality. But when it comes to the guidance of his own family, he falls far behind. Today in the first reading, David’s son Absalom meets his end, and his father’s grief is profound. But unfortunately this grief is too little too late.
Absalom has a blood sister who is sexually assaulted by their half-brother Amnon, David’s eldest son by another woman. Absalom is enraged and vows vengeance against Amnon. In confronting this terrible conflict between his own sons, David chooses a no confrontational path. He does nothing to right the evil deed that Amnon has committed, since this guilty son is still privileged in his eyes. Absalom’s anger turns against his father David. He goes into exile and remains distant from his father. Prevailed upon to return home, Absalom waits months for his father to receive him. Absalom then incites his father’s opponents to revolt, the only insurrection that David has to deal with during his long reign. In today’s reading, Absalom dies in battle, in a freakish accident. When his father receives the news, he is inconsolable. “O, Absalom, my son, my son,” he cries. But die damage by then is irreparable.
In today’s Gospel, Jairus approaches Jesus and pleads for his gravely ill daughter. Fully sympathetic, Jesus restores her health and returns her to her father. When faced with family ties in great strain, Jesus is never indifferent.
Strife among family members is still with us. Divorce, for instance, has become very common in our society. There is suffering on all sides, but the children suffer the most. They are caught between mother and father, both physically and psychologically. How often we see the child torn between parents or drawn to select one over the other. We realize ever more clearly the importance of the engagement period, the realization of what a lifelong commitment means, and the immense responsibilities taken on by those who enter into marriage.
Points to Ponder
David as a father
Grief at the loss of a child
The children of divorced parents
– That the Church may continue with compassion Jesus’ healing ministry, that the sick may be comforted, the downtrodden set free, and the poor and the weak protected, we pray:
– That in this world of hunger for food and spiritual values, affluent Churches and nations may share generously with those who have less, we pray:
– That doctors and nurses and all others who care for the ill and the handicapped may have a great respect for life and be inspired in their task by the love of Christ, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, almighty Father
fill the gifts we bring before you
with the power of your Holy Spirit,
that they may become for us
the bread of resurrection and life
of Jesus Christ, your Son.
Through this Eucharist,
change us into people of hope and joy
who go together the way of life
of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord God, almighty Father,
you have given us the body and blood of your Son
as a source of life-giving power.
Do not allow us to leave it idle,
but help us to use it as a force
to uplift the people around us
and to build together a world
of reconciliation, justice and love.
May, thus, the resurrection of Jesus
work among us already now,
until you raise us up on the last day
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
“Power had gone out from him,” says the Gospel today of Jesus. It was a power that healed and brought back to life. If we have power, may we use it always to raise people up, never to put them down. And may Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.