[vc_row][vc_column][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Reading: Luke 15:11-20
And he said, “A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me.’ And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.’ And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
You have probably read this parable many times, and that is because it is very special for each of us who have believed in Jesus. How could it not be when it narrates with beautiful similarity our own story: how we turned away from the Father and rejected Him, and how He with love allows us to recognize our rebellion and receives us with open arms.
I invite you to reflect on this passage in light of the two previous parables, thinking about those who were listening to Jesus.
This is the third parable with the same theme: the Holy and Sublime God is pleased to show grace and mercy, and rejoices to bring the lost into His love and heal us.
The Pharisee are like that older brother who is angered by the joy of his father when his lost son returns. Can you imagine the effect that this tale had on the religious? Might it provoke even more anger towards Jesus?
We should also examine ourselves. If what interests us is God, His glory, and His Kingdom, we will share the joy of Heaven when a sinner repents and is saved.
The other part of the audience were the townspeople, those who suffered rejection from the Pharisees: the commoners, the prostitutes, the unwanted. They could easily see themselves in the son who turned away from his father and rejected him.
Isn’t this story a beautiful invitation to return to the Father? Is there a more captivating image than the father who runs to receive his lost son and rejoices in such a way to see him come home?
The Gospel of the Kingdom is an invitation to come home, to return to the Father. Those who have rebelled, those who have walked away, are invited to turn back to God.
How can I come home? The Gospel is the key: I must repent of my sins and put all, absolutely all my trust in the one who gave His life for me on the cross.
MEDITATE: Do we rejoice with each of those who turn their eye to Christ? Do we recognize ourselves in the prodigal son of the parable?
Translation By: Emily Stader[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]