“Running into the embrace of the Merciful Father, with a sincere repentance and contrition of heart, and pledging to live for Him, and with Him!”
(Based on Mic 7:14-15, 18-20 and Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 – Saturday of the 2nd Week in Lent)
Charles Dickens – an English writer and a social critic – is known to be one of the greatest novelists of all times.
He has created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters and his works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime
By the 20th century, critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius.
His novels and short stories are still widely read today.
Someone asked Charles Dickens once, what was the best short story in the English language.
Without any hesitation, came his reply: “The Prodigal Son!”
The Gospel of the Day is the beautiful rendition of this classic: “The Prodigal Son!”
This Parable of the Prodigal Son(s) – is the beautiful exposition of the Unconditionally True Love of the Heavenly Father to each of His beloved children!
The Parable of the Prodigal Son(s) is surely one of the most popular, the most loved and the most touching parables of Jesus.
This parable has three main characters and we could view any of them as playing the main role in the story:
- The Prodigal Son – Younger son
He went away from the love of his father
Inheritance was given to children only after the death of the father
In asking the inheritance, therefore, alluded to the fact that the prodigal son considered his father to be dead!
But having spent his life in useless living, he realised the emptiness and vacuum that filled his heart.
And so he decided to turn back…
… and go to his father
- The Prodigal Son – Elder Son
He remained the faithful “servant” of the house
But when he saw, that his brother – who had wasted away the inheritance, was received with so much warmth, his temper rose!
He couldn’t digest the fact that his brother who lived a “wasted life” was honoured….
… whereas he was never given the chance to “enjoy with his friends”
The context of the parable is Jesus speaking to the “Pharisees and scribes” who were “complaining that Jesus always accepted sinners” (Lk 15: 1-2)
In this context, the character of the Elder Son portrayed the attitude of the Pharisees and Scribes.
- The Loving Father
Beyond these two characters of the two prodigal sons – the younger and the elder – towers high the Image of the Father – the Father who loved and accepted his lost sons!
He suffered a deep pain when his younger son went away
He underwent immense pain waiting for the son to come back
He went through moments of dilemma when his elder son was opposing the welcome of the younger one.
Yet through all this, the character of the Father towers high!
He is the Father of Mercies – Who accepts all, just as they are
He is the Father of Love – Who loves everyone, unconditionally
He is the Father of Compassion – Who receives all to His loving embrace
In our life, often as children – like the Prodigal Son(s) – we go away.
We try to do something good…
… but our life turns into a mess!
Our student life gets messed up with lack of commitment and failures
Our marriage hits the rocks with misunderstandings and lack of acceptance
Our family life gets into a crisis with lack of unity and peace of mind
We feel our life is all in a mess…
We find ourselves lost, frustrated and upset!
But in all such situations, we need to look up…
… and see how the Loving Father is waiting to embrace us… And love us!
As Prophet Micah very beautifully reminds us:
“Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot.
… Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea!” (Mic 5:18-19)
Yes, the Merciful Father is waiting for each one of us…
… Whatever be the mess, that my life may be in!
Let us run into His embrace of Love…
… with a sincere repentance and contrition of heart
And pledge to live for Him, and with Him!
For you, forever!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
EPISCOPAL ORDINATION – FULLNESS OF THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS
As Christ’s vicar, each bishop has the pastoral care of the particular Church entrusted to him…
… but at the same time he bears collegially with all his brothers in the episcopacy the solicitude for all the Churches:
“Though each bishop is the lawful pastor only of the portion of the flock entrusted to his care…
… as a legitimate successor of the apostles he is, by divine institution and precept, responsible with the other bishops for the apostolic mission of the Church. (CCC # 1560)