“…this brother of yours was lost and has been found.…”
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: 11 Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and travelled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, “How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ‘ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21 Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, “Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31 Then the father said to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’ “
Relating the Gospel to our lives today.
I remember when I was 18, sitting my parents down and apologising to them for the past 5 years! And I really meant it. It took courage and humility. Then I went to confession for the first time since my first confession. This was the turning point in my life where I started to build a good honest relationship with my parents, and with Jesus.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the parallels between the two relationships were obvious. Mum, Dad and Jesus all loved me unconditionally. They created me. They wanted me to come back to them. And strangely enough as soon as I did, all 3 of them started to bestow great gifts upon me! They had been waiting and desperately wanting to give me these gifts – but I wasn’t in a position where I could receive them. I was pushing them away. So what prompted this change of heart from me? Perhaps it was the awful situations I kept getting myself into. Perhaps it was dawning on me that adult life was on the horizon and I had no idea how to cope. But really I think it was because I was given the grace to realise that there was really no need to rebel. My parents could not force me to love them. Jesus could not force me to believe in Him, but, all 3 of them were still there for me – despite everything that I had done. In my heart I felt sorry, because I suddenly realised how much I was loved.
- Is there anything in my heart I feel sorry for?
- Do I realise how loved I am?
- Is it time for me to turn back to God through confession?
Your mercy is greater than my sin – in every situation! There is nothing you can’t forgive me for. Help me to come to confession and talk to the priest about what I feel sorry for. I want to build a new, honest relationship with you. Help me come home.
Thank you, I love You Jesus, amen.