Prodigal Son, Other Son, Forgiving Father

On this Fourth Sunday, Cycle C, in Lent we are treated to the remarkable story of the prodigal son and secondarily to the story of the other son.  The younger son took his inheritance and squandered it in a foreign country.  The older son stayed at home but grumbled because his brother blew through half of his fathers net worth and yet his father rejoiced at his return.  His problem was righteousness over his not having done that to his father even though the story makes obvious he wished he had enough courage to do so.

The real story here is about the father’s actions.  In both cases, he went out to meet each son.  The younger son he saw coming from a great distance and ran to meet him.  The older son he saw pouting outside and went to him to help him overcome his anger.  This story could also be called The Forgiving Father and be an archetype of our Heavenly Father coming in search of us, calling us to himself, and loving us even in our own sinfulness.

In this final half of Lent as we begin to close on Holy Week and Easter, let us look at the people in our lives that we need to go out to, those who cannot bring themselves to ask our forgiveness.  Don’t make them wrestle with that dilemma, go to them and welcome them back into relationship with us.  That’s what God Himself does.  Can we do less?

(Taken from points in Confirmation homily by Bishop Emeritus Boland)

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