Today is dedicated to the Gospel Reading from Sunday – Here is the Gospel of Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32 – with a loving angel message behind it.
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable:
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
This is a parable of God’s Goodness and Mercy – of How God’s Mercy and Love is bigger than any sin.
The parable takes place in a time when if a family member left , they were “cut off” -considered “lost ” or even dead to the family. If there were any person who married someone outside of the Jewish custom, the family would rip their clothes and consider the one who married “dead”.
Jesus describes two sons amd God’s love fot all of Hos children equally .
In this parable , the youngest son asks his dad for his inheritance early- which would be considered an insult to any father if he were still living. Yet , the father gives the youngest son what he asked for, and the youngest son goes out and squanders his inheritance on “a life of dissipation.”
During a famine , he has to hire himself out to local farmers , only to find the swine are eating better than he is.
The youngest son, coming to his senses, decides to turn around, go back home ask his father for forgiveness – remembering how his father’s servants were very well fed.
One of the key points to this parable is that the father saw the son coming “while he was still a long way off and ran out to embrace and kiss him.”
The son , with a sincere heart, asked the father for forgiveness and the father called for a celebration on the fact that his son “was lost , but now is found.”
The older son was a little angry over the celebration and upon questioning the father about the celebration, was told that all of everything that the father owned was always shared with him (the older son) but now there was much rejoicing as the younger son had returned , “he was lost , but now is found.”
God loves all of the same. With Great Love. When we turn away from Heavenly Father , we are turning away from our very source of eternal life. Our very Creator who knows us better than we know ourselves. However , should we turn around, and ask God for His Mercy , for any sin or err in judgment or mistake we have committed with a sincere and humble heart , God too will see us off from a far distance (From Heaven !) and will meet us halfway It is through repentence and forgiveness that we are healed from speration from God. And God and all of Heaven rejoices when we return to Him!