The Prodigal Son and the Forgiving Father

Mar 28, 2019

Gospel Reflection, Fourth Sunday of Lent Year C
Joshua 5: 9a, 10-12; 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21; Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

 The Prodigal Son and the Forgiving Father

Few gospel readings capture our attention and imagination than the story of the Prodigal Son.  Some even say it is the greatest story ever told.  Of course, it was told by Jesus.  Who is not moved by seeing this father, who is waiting with yearning for his son, and who sees him when he is still a long way off, when he finally comes home? There is no word of reproach, no “Why did you do it?” but only a simple joy over the son who has given him so much trouble and who has now come back again. 

Artists have captured this moment of the father’s moving mercy and the son’s peace that he longs for.  I recall the famous painting of Rembrandt on the cover of Father Henri Nouwen’s book, The Return of the Prodigal Son.  This is what lay close to Jesus’ heart!  The younger son demands his inheritance – a great insult to the Father.  But then after a long time and great self-inflicted pain in squandering his days in dissolute living, he comes to his senses.  He comes back without much expectation not expecting to even be treated like a son, but as one of his father’s hired hands. 

But the father wants to welcome his son and only wants communion with him again.  This is all that matters to the Father.  A restored father-son relationship means everything to him.  He treats his son as a son with great joy and jubilation.  Who in your life do you need to forgive?  How do you need to be forgiven and come back?  Take some time this week to reflect on this, the greatest story ever told.  God bless you all.

 

Father Tony