FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, Second Scrutiny of the Elect
Where is the mother?
We have just heard arguably one of the best stories ever told. And it is a story that tells every sinner has a future, a bright future if he or she intends to mend the ways and return to the father. For a change let us reflect on a character missing in this wonderful story. Where is the mother gone?
In this lovely story, there is no mother. Not even someone with a shade of motherhood. With a mother, or an elder sister, or a sister-in-law, a tiny niece, or even with an elderly maid who had cared for the prodigal son during infancy, the story would have been different. Jesus, probably, avoided any woman to tell us something important.
Prodigals are easily born where mothers are rendered insignificant. Not that, women are living under the same roof, but they are rendered insignificant. Had there been a mother at home, she would not have let the prodigal son leave in the first place. If at all he had left, he would have returned much faster. A mother is a powerful magnet that holds children closer to home and the father. Alas, in a lot of lives mothers- and women- are ignored and taken for granted. Many women are reduced to being unpaid housemaids and cooks. Especially in oriental cultures, women are considered inferior to men. Even in developed countries, a lot remains to be improved. Prodigals are seldom born in balanced families, where women are loved and respected. It is the role of the father to teach his children to respect the mother by example. An ignored and insulted wife shall be easily an ignored and insulted mother; exceptions are rare. It is true the other way around as well; if the wife does not respect her husband, her children would neither respect him. Where parents are well respected, prodigals are seldom born.
As we near the end of the story, the elder son is almost becoming the second prodigal son. That he had to be told by a servant could have been one reason to revolt. But a loving mother surely would have sent one of the servants to inform him that his brother is home, asking him to rush back, leaving his work alone. A mother solves a lot of issues before they are born. Remember the old saying, a stitch in time saves nine!
Dear parents, please set examples of respect by respecting your partners. The children shall naturally learn to respect their parents.
We all need our parents to guide us no matter how old we are. That could be the reason it is given as a command to respect your parents. Respecting your parents is not a time-bound command. That one of your parents had a limitation is not an excuse for you to disrespect your parents.
Look up to your heavenly Father, and be perfect like Him. Learn from Jesus to stay close to the heavenly Father always. Thank them they have gifted us a heavenly mother too! No Christian can complain his mother is not home. Mother Mary is always home to all Christians and even non-Christians who look unto her.