Wherest goest thou? Part 2

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 21, 2018

By Fr.Jonathan J.Filkins 

Clearly, Angie was deeply involved in Jimmy’s life. As with most children, there is a natural propensity to test the parental limits, regularly. There is also a natural propensity for our children to presume greater maturity than they either deserve, or demand.

This mother’s love was not of one trying to be a “buddy,” or even be a friend. It was that unique role of being a loving parent. Quite often, this love is felt as being interference by the child, as the youthful aging process seemingly dictates expanded separation and unearned freedoms.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Few of us have not felt the ligatures of parental restraints on our burgeoning egos. We too have likely been asked, “Where are you going?” as we skulked around the perimeters, attempting to evade detection from the current “jailer.” We too may have been chastised about our lack of candor and accountability.

It is also quite likely that we have had a similar conversation between one, or both, of our parents. If not them, then someone in our lives who has cared about us. Dare we say, ‘loved us?’ It is also quite likely we have had similar conversations with our progeny. Perhaps they have not been our own, but we have cared for them enough, loved them enough, to assume the mantle, at least for a moment.

It is a common axiom there is no “owners’ manual” for parenting. In truth, given the complexities of humanity, each “project” is unique and requires a different set of “instructions.” Yet, some of the differences are, remarkably, commonalities. Some are gender, some are individual, some are societal, and some are spiritual. Each holds some general truths to who and what we are.

“Wither goest thou? are the words to Jesus Christ from the Apostle Peter before the Passion. These words, are from the same fellow who would deny his relationship with our Lord. It was he who skulked around the perimeter, attempting to evade the truth; not once but three times.

He was attempting to cover up his own actions, rather than trust in the authority of his Creator; his heavenly parent.

Even we, so called adults, do not fully abandon our rebellious natures in our youth. Any quick glance, either without or within, reflects less than mature behavior, paradigms, or perceptions. Anger, sloth, transference of our responsibilities, or any of the many other of the myriad pitfalls of younger days limits us in our successes, and with our earthly and heavenly relationships.

Our Lord’s response, to the Apostle John’s question is instructive. Jesus replied, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shall follow me after wards.” This is the Promise of the Christ, to us. Yet, contained in the Promise is the implicit knowledge that in the practice, of following Christ, is to follow His commands to us.

Whether, or not, we explicitly hear the question, it is always before us. “Whither goest thou?” Our response, to this life question, is expressed to our Creator in every moment of our being. It is not as though we should be surprised, as it is He who loves us. This is the caring love, and our response to it, which He lovingly seeks. We too may be avoiding the love of God in our lives, by ignoring Him. Like a loving parent we too may be chided for our approach to living.

Miraculously, like a truly loving parent, there may be understanding and forgiveness by God, our Father. It is only if we are forthright in telling Him where we are going in our lives, and trusting Him for providing the direction in which we are headed.