Now we must celebrate and rejoice, because
your brother was dead and has come to life
again; he was lost and has been found. (Lk 15:32)
God is a wonderful, loving, forgiving God!
We often fail to remember that.
Jesus often spoke about that loving and forgiving God. This morning, our third graders will hear the parable of the Prodigal Son. That is such a complex story.
It is comprised of three main characters: the father, the prodigal son, and the other son.
The prodigal son went to his father and requested his inheritance immediately. This was entirely unusual. Inheritances are given after someone has passed away. For the son to request what was to come to him ahead of time was most certainly a slap in his father’s face, his brother’s as well.
The prodigal son went off and squandered his inheritance and then fell on extremely bad times. In a quandary, he decided to return to his father, begging him to make him a hired hand since he had no right to expect that his father would bring him back into the family.
He was shocked, however, to see his father rush out to him with open arms and bring him back into the house. The son pleaded to be made a hired hand. The father would hear nothing of it. He wanted his son back home and he brought him in.
Meanwhile, the other son, the dutiful son, heard about the celebration. He had written his brother off. He had no room in his heart for his “former” brother. He was enraged to hear that his father had brought his brother back into the home. And he challenged his father.
His father told him how much he loved his children, both of them. His father also chided his son, telling him that he should rejoice because his brother repented.
This is not just a story. God really is just like that. He celebrates when we repent. He enthusiastically brings us back home.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for our third graders who celebrate for the first time today the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that their experience may be a good and joyful one.