Today’s Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
I have to be honest, when I was young, I was not crazy about this parable. I always felt it wasn’t fair to the older son, who did everything he was supposed to. As I’ve gotten older, I understand that depending on the season of our life, we may see ourselves in both characters of the story. It is the ultimate story of forgiveness and we all have need of such generous forgiveness.
I like to think that the older brother got it in the end, and let go of his anger, but Jesus doesn’t say. We have all been in the place where we’ve run as fast and as far as we can from God and in the end, learn for our own peace, it is time to come home again. In the past few years, the Catholic Church has run ads saying: “Come home for Christmas”. I love this imagery; it immediately brings to mind this parable. What love, what joy.
It is so comforting to think of the loving Father in this story. We are forgiven. What tender words. I don’t have to be jealous of others, for there is enough love to go around, abundant, joyous, gushy, touchy-feely, adorable love. The love of a Father who would do anything to see all His children home again, this is the God that we need to share with others, the God who would send His only son to die for us, the God that loves us and forgives us unconditionally. He runs to greet us as we turn in His direction. This is the greatest love story ever told and we are the main characters. What a gift to be on the receiving end of such love.
Ponder: Do you know anyone who is lost and searching for answers? How can you share this parable with them?
Father, keep me from judging others, help me to gently lead them to the great well of your mercy and love.
Copyright 2014 Maureen O’Shea