Mar 3 (Lk 15:1-3,11-32)

There’s a story from the land of Spain about a father and son who had become estranged.

The son had run away as a result of some misunderstanding.

>> But the father set off to find him.

He searched for months and months… but to no avail!

He missed his son…

>> The name of his son was Paco.

He missed Paco…

Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an advertisement in a national newspaper.

The ad read:

“Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I accept you, as you are. I love you. Your Father”.

On Saturday, 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers!

Paco was a very common name in Spain…and the ad appealed to many Pacos, who were estranged from their father…and sought to come back home!

>> The world is thirsty, seeking to be quenched from the fount of forgiveness.

>> The world is hungry, seeking to be satisfied from the storehouse of forgiveness.

The Gospel of the Day is a strong reminder by Jesus, to experience the forgiving love of the Lord and in turn to become “instruments of forgiveness”!

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is perhaps one of the most popular, the most loved, the most sentimental and the most meaningful of all the parables in the Gospel.

One of the lasting images that this beautiful parable impresses upon the readers is that of a Loving Father in patient waiting for the return of the son.

The Son had abandoned the love and protection of the Father.

It could have been…

… because of some misunderstanding…

… because of some pride and arrogance…

… because of some selfishness and egoism…

… because of some immaturity or peer pressure…

Whatever be the reason…

….  a rupture had occurred in the beautiful relationship!

>> The son sought to find enjoyment in many worldly pleasures…

…meanwhile the Father was left with a seemingly never-ending wait for his beloved!

>> The son drowned himself in the pleasurable waters of enjoyment and gratification…

… meanwhile the Father sought to keep floating on the waters of hope and optimism!

The Father kept waiting…and waiting…

>> Every evening as the sun set… and as the darkness would engulf the land…

… the hopes of the Father would have diminished and a gloom darkened in his mind!

>> Every morning as the sun arose….and as the bright rays enraptured the land…

…the expectations of the Father would have intensified and a glow lit his heart!

And thus the Father kept waiting and waiting for the son to return.

Finally, when the son returned, the long wait of the outstretched arms of the Father, waiting to embrace his beloved was over…

“… while he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him…”( Lk 15: 20)

Return of the Prodigal Son, Rembrandt, 1668, Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg

The father’s joys knew no bounds!

The son was considered lost… the son was considered dead…

>> But now here he is… found…and alive!

What a beautiful picture!

>> A son who comes back in repentance, clasped in a deep affectionate hug with his father who longed for the return of his beloved!

Our heavenly Father wishes to have this same picture, with each of us….

We have often gone away from the Love of our Heavenly Father…

… by our sins and disobedience

… by our selfishness and egoism

… by our pride and worldly pleasures

… by our immaturity and misunderstanding

But He now waits in eager expectation and hope for our return to Him…

>> Shall we not run to the open and outstretched arms of our Blessed Father?

In turn, we are also invited, exhorted and challenged to become “an instrument of forgiveness and reconciliation”

May the forgiving love that we have received from our Heavenly Father be extended and widened to all the people in our life too.

Let the words of our Beloved Heavenly Father be a powerful invitation to us, ” All is forgiven. I accept you, as you are. I love you. Your Father.”

God bless! Live Jesus!

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