Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Return of Life

"God did not make death, and He does not delight in the death of the living."—Wisdom 1:13

What would we be thinking when we find out something or someone is about to harm us?

A time of danger puts one in a fight-or-flight mode. If he is sure that he can still face that danger, he stays and tries to fight. When he feels that it is more prudent to flee, then he flees to secure himself. These two kinds of response towards danger are parts of the normal physiological system to ensure survival.

After danger has passed, we would usually feel relieved and joyful. But what if the end of danger means the end of our enemy? Are we going to feel joyful as well?

Absalom is King David's son from one of his many concubines. When Absalom rebelled against his father and planned to kill him, David chose to flee with his faithful men. Later, in his place of refuge, David gathered his army to fight back and thwart Absalom's revolt; even then, he still ordered his men to "deal gently" with Absalom.

Absalom met his death in a gruesome way: his head got stuck in a tree branch. And when he was hanging helplessly between heaven and earth, Joab and his soldiers stabbed Absalom with three spears and therefore killed him.

Did David rejoice because the person plotting to murder him was dead? Not at all! David actually grieved over the death of Absalom! Absalom did want to harm him, but he was still David's own son.

In the Old Testament, it is said that one of the signs of the Messianic era would be the resurrection of the dead. Jesus the Messiah fulfilled all the signs: not only He healed those sick in body and mind, He also banished the biggest pandemic of mankind, that is death.

Indeed, death was never part of God's plan. Death came unto the world as a consequence of sin, and sin is man's willed choice. God, in His infinite love, visited men to restore life. We are His children, and however rebellious and hateful we are towards Him, His ever-loving heart would be so torn if we are lost to death.

Just like David never willed the death of Absalom, our Heavenly Father also never wills the death of man. What is astonishing is that, often it is we who desire harm upon our own brothers, even upon our smallest and weakest brothers, the little unborn. Isn't all forms of life have their source in God? If God Himself is more than willing to raise the dead, then defending the dignity of life is quite a proper and a most natural thing to do.

Choose life, because our God is a living God.


Daily Reading for Sunday, 4 February 2014

First Reading — 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14b, 24-25a, 30 - 19:3
Responsorial Psalm — Psalm 86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Gospel Reading — Mark 5:21-43


Image: "Wisteria. Cookham.", Stanley Spencer, 1942

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