Yesterday before he was released, the nurse was trying to sweet-talk Dad into taking his medicine-laced aspirin: "Do it for me, won't you?" No dice. My sister Mary tried, "Dad, do it for Jane!" He kept facing the window. Then Mom said, "Do it for Jesus." And he set his face and slowly turned toward the nurse.
Last night, Mom said she heard Dad whispering from the Psalms, "Here I am, O God, I come to do your will."
Family circumstances offer me a new perspective on today's Gospel parable about people refusing to come to a fabulous banquet. The host sends servants out to "force" people in from the byways. What's the matter with the invitees? But then what about us? We almost have to be "pressured" into welcoming the invitation to the heavenly banquet--especially given that the immediate doorway is our death. I keep reminding myself of this: that Dad is moving toward something so much better than we can imagine. He won't need to be forced into that celebration.