Joined Together by God (Twenty-seventh Ordinary)

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might bless them. The disciples shooed them off.
But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very centre of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in”. Then, gathering the children up in his arms,
he laid his hands of blessing on them.
(Mark 10: 13 – 16)

Santo and his wife came to church every Sunday. He would give the priest a courtly tip of his hat and then hold the heavy oak door open for his life. This was their weekly routine, one of the countless others that grew in their 50-plus years together.

Her death and burial devastated Santo. He would walk the streets of the neighbourhood with an unlit stub of a cigar in his mouth, angry at himself, the world around him, and God. Angry because in his mind he was supposed to die first, not his wife.

He finally shared that anger one day with the priest who looked at him with compassion and said, “You loved her. You still do. If you died first would you want her to go through what you are going through now, to feel what you have been feeling since she died?”

Santo did not respond. He just turned and walked away. He eventually moved in with one of his children. While he found delight in his grandchildren, he was never really happy. It was as if he were biding his time.

At his funeral the same priest could only say to all in attendance that now Santo is with his wife whom he missed so very much.

Two, indeed, had become one flesh, joined together by God, reunited in heaven.