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LESSONS IN MOURNING – AND FOR LIFE

Father Francis's picture
Second Week of Ordinary Time

Sam. 1:14, 11-12, 19, 23-27 & Mk. 3:20-21

When David heard about the deaths of King Saul and Jonathan he mourned bitterly. He and Jonathan were the best of friends. Jonathan had saved his life several times when his father Saul wanted to kill him. Now father and son were dead, David totally forgave Saul and lamented both equally and, because of the mercy he showed on this occasion, I am sure God was ready later to forgive him for his dual sins of adultery and murder.

As a poet and musician, David composed some lyrics in their memory. There are times when someone close to us, or someone we have loved or respected, has died and we, too, feel a tremendous surge of respectful love. But sometimes we find that there are people who are close to us who have died, and we feel we did not love them enough. A feeling of regret overtakes us and we wish we had loved them more while they were still alive.

Today, before it is too late, let us do two things. Firstly, if we have any enemies, let us think about them and forgive them in our heart, as did David. And secondly, let us think of a very dear friend, and voice our feelings of love and appreciation for them now, before it is too late.

It must have been very difficult for Jesus' family and friends to understand his behaviour. He was almost constantly surrounded by crowds, often in dispute with the Jewish leaders, and working and praying long into the night. Today's Gospel passage gives us just one more example of how hard He worked. Returning from the mountain with His newly appointed Apostles, He found the crowd waiting for Him. Moved with compassion He ministered to the people - so busy that there wasn't even time to eat!

Jesus' family and friends who had been observing Him became concerned that He might not be using sound judgement – perhaps even that He might have lost His mind! But He was concerned with the kingdom of God, filled with a desire to do His Father's will by caring for everyone who came to Him in need - so much so that He willingly risked the understanding of His immediate family. His wider family, of course, are all those who approach Him with faith, believing that He has come from the Father to save us from sin and darkness.

Lord Jesus, give us some of the love and enthusiasm you had for working for Your Father and spreading love for Him. In this way we shall truly be a member of Your family.

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