Once in a wake, our group was talking about death and the difficulty that the family deals with. One commented which everyone agreed – the most difficult thing is when it is the parents who bury their children. That is why even the Irish has a saying, “May you never bury your children.”
In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear of a parent who is faced with the death of her daughter because of a demon. Three things we can reflect on:
- Parents will do everything and anything for their children. This we see in the mother of the daughter and we see in every parent. In fact, in my many visits of Anointing of the Sick, I realize that when it is the children who are sick, the parents suffer even more. How many of the parents would say, “I don’t mind suffering as long as my child is spared.”
- Children are the greatest joy on one hand, and the greatest sorrow on the other hand. Notice how happy and proud parents are even in the smallest milestones in their children’s life. On the other hand, how the wrong decisions and mistakes of children break the heart of their parents. St. Monica resorted to prayer so that her son St. Augustine would find God in his life.
- The power of prayer. In the spiritual realm, the parents have spiritual authority over their children. Hence, the prayers of parents for their children are very powerful. On the other hand, if children break the hearts of their parents, the curses of parents to their children are very lethal. That is why it is very important to “Honor your Father and Mother.” Old age included.
Hence in every Mass, we remember our parents for all their prayers. If only we realize how much we have been blessed by their prayers. Further, we also remember that if parents would do everything and anything for their parents, what more God our Father with whom nothing is impossible.