Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Today we heard the well-known parable of the prodigal son, which I am certain that at some point of your life, you have heard it at least once. In this parable, God is compared to a loving and forgiving father, whose younger son had gone wayward and lost, and when that son returned to him, the father rejoiced and welcomed him back with full of love.
And indeed our God is like that, and He is indeed our Father, who loves us and cares for us, whose thoughts are centred ever on us every day and every moment in time. He looks always onto us, and wants us to be once again reunited with Him. And we are the prodigal sons, and also like the elder son of the father.
For we all have sinned before God, and committing what is evil in His eyes, and very often in our lives, we have disobeyed His law and His will, and instead following our own desires and our own forged path, which we built on our desires as well as on the foundations laid down by Satan. We were corrupted by the world and brought away from the way of truth.
It is easy for us to relate with the younger son, for we know that in this world, there are plenty and indeed almost limitless availability for human pleasures and goodness to satisfy our desires and our greed for such things. And that was exactly what happened to the younger son, who squandered the hard-earned wealth of his father, which was his inheritance, on loose living.
I am sure that in one way or another, this also happened to us. We gave in to the increasingly aggressive world, which indeed increases its attacks on us and our faithful living, by multiplying the number of pleasures and goodness that it tries to bring to us, seducing us to a lifestyle that is signified by excessive consumption and blatant disobedience of God’s will.
In this world, it is increasingly difficult for us to live without being bombarded daily by the increasing amount of advertisements and promotions on the good things of this world, the amenities and joys of life, all the components of a materialistic and hedonistic lifestyle. How many of us are not aware of the offers on the latest gadgets and jewelries? How many of us are not aware of the lucrative deals being offered?
But the key message that we ought to know today is that, regardless of all these, we all have hope, because God who is our Father is always waiting for us, like the father of the prodigal son, ever eager to see his long lost son to return to his side. The prodigal and sinful son realised that he had sinned against God and his father, by committing all that he had done. And this is indeed a very important moment that we all have to note.
It is this realisation, and coupled by the desire to return to his father, which propelled the prodigal son on his difficult journey home, to return to the love of his father. But had the son not realised his sinfulness, even in his difficult times, he would just be dead in that foreign land, and his death would not have been mourned by any. He would have died among the animals, without honour and be shamed forever in darkness.
The same therefore will happen to us, if we do not realise the depth and gravity of our sins, and if we continue to walk in the path of the wicked, following our hearts’s desire rather than following the Lord our God. We will suffer for eternity in shame, regret and hopelessness in hell, where there will be no light, no pleasure, and no happiness but only sorrow, regret and darkness.
So it is important for us to realise our sins, know them, and seek God for absolution and forgiveness, humbly asking Him to forgive us and promise to change our ways and sin no more, just as the prodigal son sought the forgiveness of his father, and then be received back into the fullness of love that his father has prepared for him, which God too had prepared for us.
And lastly, we who have been saved by our baptism and faith in Jesus Christ, are also like the elder son. We have been deemed as righteous and we remain in the house of the father, God our Father because of our faith in His Son. But that does not mean that we have the right to condemn all those who are still wayward. Remember that we are all sinners who still need to be saved by the grace of God through our actions.
Instead, let us help one another, especially those who are still in the darkness. Let us bring them to the light of God, by showing it through our own deeds and actions, that they may believe in us, children of the light, that they too will follow our path, to become children of God.
May our Lord who loves us, and who forgives and welcomes His prodigal sons back to His side, continue to love us, watch over us, and guide us that we may always walk righteously and faithfully on His path. Amen.