The Gospel this week-end recounts the wonderful parable of Jesus about the “prodical son”. Jesus was criticised for welcoming sinners and eating with them. The author of the Gospel story, St Luke, recalls that, rather than responding to their criticism directly, Jesus told them the wonderful story of the “prodical son”.
The story actually introduces us to three characters – A loving father; a wayward son; and a jealous, loyal son.
There is a little of the wayward son in each of us. We wander from God sometimes because we falsely convince ourselves that we are self-sufficient and that we can survive independently of God’s home, the Church.
There is a little of the jealous, loyal son in each of us also. We sometimes falsely convince ourselves that our commitment to our faith makes us more deserving than others of God’s love and mercy – Certainly more deserving than those who have wandered from their faith.
Our God is a welcoming Father. Our God is a forgiving Father. Our God is ready to embrace us when we stray and to embrace us when we stay. All that Our Father has is ours. It is the gift of eternal life won for us by Jesus Christ.
The response we are invited to make to his wonderful revelation today is to give thanks for His mercy whenever we stray: and to give thanks for His assuring presence whenever we stay.