Thursday, April 23, 2009


A person developed bitter enmity towards his father. The father was simple, affectionate and straightforward. He suffered a lot to bring up his son as his wife had died following the son’s birth. He longed to reconcile with his only son and prayed for his transformation. But the son was adamant and made all possible efforts to tarnish his father’s image in society.

The son developed a serious disease and the doctors predicted that his days were numbered. Many elders met him and advised him to reconcile with his aging father and prepare for a blessed death. But even on his deathbed, the angry son was designing plans to damage his father’s reputation.

The loving father stayed with the ailing son, near his bed, offering all possible assistance and praying fervently for his speedy recovery. Pretending to be sorry for his antisocial actions, the son told his father that he had a final wish. He wanted to die like Jesus Christ.

“What should I do, my son?” asked the loving father. The son lamented, “I am sure to die soon. After my death, kindly nail me to a wooden cross and pierce my heart with a long dagger. Then, present me before everyone so that they may know that I had died in sanctity like Jesus.”

The father was a very simple man. He agreed to satisfy the son’s last wish. A week later, when the son died at his house, he brought a large cross and nailed his body to it. Then he plunged a dagger into the body and pierced the side. The body was them brought for public view. As his son expected, a rumour spread among the public that the son possibly died following the crucifixion! The father had no evidence to prove that the son had died earlier. The enmity between them was known to all. Thus the rumour gained strength and soon the father was arrested by the police and charged with the crime of murdering his son. That was exactly what his wicked son wanted.

Man’s cruelty is expressed in various ways. Parents spend their life-time for the children, sacrificing everything. But many children fail to appreciate, acknowledge and reciprocate their selfless services.

Many aged parents are shifted to old age homes, dumped as burden by their ungrateful children. After their death, the body may be decorated with flowers and adorned with new clothes, gloves, socks and shoes. The body may be ceremoniously carried to the cemetery and the funeral held with pomp. But if the person had received this care, attention and appreciation before his death, his life would have been longer and happier.

“Respect your father and mother, so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you” {Exodus 20: 12}.

“If you curse your parents, your life will end like a lamp that goes out in the dark” {Proverbs 20: 20}.

“Honour your father with all your heart, and never forget how your mother suffered when you were born. Remember that you owe your life to them. How can you ever repay them for all they have done for you?” {Sirach 7: 27, 28}.

St. Paul advises, “Children, it is your Christian duty to obey your parents, for this is the right thing to do. “Respect your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise added: “so that all may go well with you, and you may live a long time in the land” {Ephesians 6:1-3}.


This is story No.120 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

By: Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

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