The gospel reading is the popular story of the prodigal son and his loving father. The parable is a beautiful story of love, of the love of God for us. The merciful love of God is at hand. When one is lost and has gone astray, and then is found or has returned home, then the reason to celebrate is a must. For the lost is found and is restored to the fold.
This gospel reading is only found in Luke. We are all sinners and in one way or another we have disobeyed God. The son in the gospel had displeased his father and his family very much when he asked for his share from his father and then went far way to squander the inheritance and the fortunes he got. Only then did the son realize his wrongdoings, his sins.
It is very important to accept that one has wronged or hurt others. And to have the determination to do what is good and correct. And so the son returned home to ask for his father’s forgiveness. He was forgiven and was restored to the family with his robe, ring and sandals, and a celebration where the fattened calf was slaughtered. It was a call for celebration because the father had received back his lost son, for “he was dead and now has come back to life”. But the jealous elder brother did not understand the feelings of the father, and the love of the father for his sons.
The Lord Jesus had told this parable to the tax collectors and sinners and to the Pharisees and Scribes who were questioning why the master welcomes the public sinners and dines with them. But the Lord has a different mindset for he comes not for the righteous but to those who have shunned and closed themselves to God. Today, the public sinners are very obvious, as well as the modern-day Pharisees and Scribes.
This is the mystery of God’s love. The Lord is always there for us in good times or in bad times, for his mercy is without end.
Let us pause, pray, reflect and ask ourselves:
Am I like the prodigal son?
Am I like the jealous elder brother?
Am I like the loving father who welcomes anyone even if he/she has done wrong?
Do I celebrate the loving mercy of God and his goodness?
And finally, let us pray together:
Almighty and merciful God,
we thank you for your loving mercy,
for always forgiving us
even if we have sinned and displeased you.
May we deserve your pardon,
strength, mercy and love
so we can truly live in you.
Fr Gerald Binegas RCJ | Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com
Fr Gerald is serving as the Assistant Priest at the partnered parishes of Christ the King, Braybrook and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Maidstone. He and the Parish Priest, Fr Rene Ramirez RCJ, are the first Rogationists of the Heart of Jesus to serve God and neighbour in Australia.