Father Ignatius came across some sad realities of life the other day.
It was a dark and wintry cold evening when he was called out to visit an elderly parishioner at home who was very ill and nearing the end of his life. The old man's wife was there and a few other relatives all gathered around the old man's bed praying and crying.
In conversation the priest learnt that this parishioner had a grown up son living not far away. Although he had been warned about his father's poor health he had not come to see him. Apparently, father and son had not met or spoken to each other for years following a family argument.
Sadly, even though the son had not visited his dying father, the father in turn did not want to see his son.
The priest, in an attempt at reconciliation, made an effort to contact the son by telephone. But it was too late. By then the father had died.
The son never turned up to the funeral.
Father Ignatius’ heart was at breaking point during the funeral. He remembered the fifth Commandment about respecting one's parents and the words in Our Lord's Prayer "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sinned against us". He wanted to say something about this during his sermon but decided that it was not appropriate at the time.
Instead he offered a private Mass for the whole family and prayed that the act of reconciliation may never again be so thwarted by entrenched self-indulgent righteousness.