Today’s Thoughts: We seem to be in the forgiveness mode during these Lenten days. Yesterday we had the Pharisee and the tax collector at prayer and today we have perhaps the most famous of all Gospel parables the Parable of the Forgiving Father. In each story we are asked to recognize God’s mercy and forgiveness which is always available to us.
As I was reading the parable of the Forgiving Father for probably the 1000 plus time something new jumped out at me. As I was reading about the older son suddenly St. Paul’s words from his Letter to the Romans echoed in my mind. Towards the end of Chapter 8 in Romans St. Paul talks about nothing separating us from God’s love. He goes through a litany of things that we might think would separate us from God’s love but in the end St. Paul says nothing will ever separate us from God’s love. In using that passage for my own personal prayer and at times for preaching I have always thought that St. Paul left out one thing. There is one thing that can separate us from God’s love, ourselves!
The older son separates himself from his father’s love, no one or nothing else does. The younger son separates himself from his father’s love but is humble enough to recognize his mistake and return. The older son continues to stand outside as the story ends and as I always tell people if someone is outside at the end of one of Jesus’ parables they are not in a good place.
In the second reading today, St. Paul tells the Corinthians to always be reconciled to God, in other words, do not let yourselves stand between yourself and God’s love! Like the younger son let’s see your faults, our failings and our struggles. Let’s return home to our loving God and be reconciled. If we do God will create something new with us!
Have a blessed Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...