The Merciful Father

“We must celebrate and rejoice. He was lost but has been found.” Luke 15:1-3.11-32

4th Sunday Lent

Who lost a bag?” asked the parish priest one Sunday in his homily. No one in the congregation stirred.

The bag has 1 million in it.” continued the priest. One by one persons were slowly raising their hands until almost everyone did.

You are all liars. There is no such bag!

But who has lost a son? A daughter perhaps? Or a husband or mother? You are all quiet now but I know some of you did. And sadly many of you do not look for them as much as you look for a lost dog, lost keys or lost money that is not even your own.”

Today we hear again the Parable of the Prodigal Son. It is actually the last of a series of three parables all about things lost – a lost coin swept by an old lady in her house, a lost sheep searched for the good shepherd in the wilderness, the lost son waited for day in day out by the patient father.

Three differing stories with only one identical moral which is “There is great joy in heaven even if only one of you sinners return to your God”.

God told us very similar stories three times to hammer into our minds that he is nonetheless happy if you return to Him even after sinning. As I’ve already shared to you many times before, conversion is a long process – lifetime in fact – that includes many failures and sins. But God does not at all mind our failings. Did the merciful father even listen to the confession of the returning son? He did not even give him a chance to finish it.

God understands our failures because he knows to err is but human. But He won’t understand if we do not return to Him if we know that He would forgive us all the time. Never say “God does not love me. God is angry. God will punish me because I have sinned.” It is precisely that you are a sinner that God favors you, that God loves you,

This parable is wrongly titled. The more apt title would be the Merciful Father because there were two sons and not one, both of whom sinned differently against the father. But there is only one and the same father who loved both equally.

Have you been lost? It is high time to return. Have you been lost someone? It is high time to search him/her.

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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