Sunday of the Prodigal Son, February 12th/January 30th, 2012
The Gospel parable of the Prodigal Son tells of God's mercy.
Lord Jesus Christ took examples from life, from the patriarchal existence of the time, for his parables. Children usually remained with their fathers, even when they had grown up.
A certain man had two sons. The younger got tired of his father's care, and decided he wanted to live according to his own will. He demanded his portion of the inheritance and left for a far country to live riotously. Soon he had squandered his inheritance. He began to be in want and repented. This parable refers to the time when the Savior lived among us. But the Gospels were written for all time, and this parable is addressed to us as well.
With regard to us, this parable has the following meaning: God is our Father and we are His children. Leaving God for “a far country,” for the world of sin, means also to leave the Church. If in earlier times the sinful life was in reality “a far country,” then today it is close, indeed very close. This world of sin gets to us through television, the computer, the Internet, and advertising.
The world offers us all sorts of satisfaction, examples of violence, and wanton living. Whoever succumbs to the world's temptations leaves for “a far country.” The first victims are children, although this concerns adults as well.
If the world offers us pleasure, then the Church offers us abstention, especially at this time when Great Lent is approaching.
Running away from the world is physically impossible, just like it's not possible to run away from one's self. We children of God will think about how far we have gone away from Him and repent. And the Lord, who loves his children, will receive us with joy, like the father in the parable.
If we will be good children to God, then this will help us in raising our own children, who will restrain from running away to “a far country,” that is to a life of sin. If children will be faithful to God, then they will be respectful to their parents. In this way issues of the family and faithfulness to the Church coincide.
Thus, the Lord's parable calls us to repentance and shows the joy with which the Lord greets those who repent.
For all of us who come to church, or who serve in the church, let us strive that the church be for us a second home and that, by God's grace, we can enter the Heavenly Church, that is, inherit salvation. Amen.