(Luke 15, 11-32)
“He was dead, and has come to life; he was lost, and is found” (Lk. 15, 32)
Glory to Jesus Christ! Слава Ісусу Христу!
Dear brothers and sisters!
In the parable of the Prodigal Son our Lord, Jesus, tells us about the infinite mercy of God towards the sinner and how anxious is our heavenly Father to have sinners turn from evil way and return to God.
A certain man had two sons. The younger son came to his father, and said: “Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me”. And the father divided his means between them. The younger son received his share, and left the father’s home, going into far country. It was in order to give himself to free and loose living far away from the eye of his father.
In the strange country the prodigal son wasted his substance and began to be in want. There came a grievous famine over that country, and he began to suffer. He went to one of the citizens of that country looking for a job on the farm. The farmer having compassion on him, sent him to feed swine. There he was hungry, and nobody gave him to eat.
Like the prodigal son is every sinner. The sinner leaves the father’s home, the Holy Church, he leaves heavenly Father, God. He hopes to escape the all seeing eye of God. But all attempts to escape God are in vain. God is everywhere. God is love, says St. John. God is merciful. “No one is good but God only”, says Jesus (Lk. 18, 19). God is our heavenly Father. He created our soul to His own image and His likeness. God destined our soul to live with Him in heaven. God’s Divine mercy has sent His only Son Jesus to save the people, to save all prodigal sons, the sinners.
The prodigal son returned to his father’s home. He fell on his knee before his father, and said: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and thee. I am not worthy to be called thy son, make as one of thy servants”.
The merciful father fell upon his neck and kissed his son. The father told the servants to bring the finest robe for his prodigal son, and new shoes on his feet. The father put his ring on his hand. The father ordered to kill the fatted calf, and all in the house began to merry.
The same effects we have in the Sacrament of Penance. We receive forgiveness of our sins and the revival of merits lost trough our sins. In the Holy Confession we become children of God. God is so merciful as to give us the ring, it is the beautiful robe of Sanctifying Grace. The sinner, who was dead, comes to life.
The sanctifying grace is lost by every mortal sin, and can only be restored by a complete return to God by true repentance and amendment. The loss of sanctifying grace is a far greater injury than the loss of earthly possessions.
How terrible is mortal sin which deprives us of this great treasure.
Let us go therefore with confidence to the Holy Confession, to the throne of God’s grace, that we may obtain mercy of God and find the grace in seasonable aid during the holy time of Lent.
Young student graduated from university. His father was extremely proud of his son and loved him very much. And one day, he asked his son what gift he would like to receive after defending his diploma. The son replied that the best gift for him would be a car. On the day of the diploma, the son hoped to get the car keys from his father. But he was very surprised when his father handed him a package. When the son opened this gift, he saw the Bible. And he was very disappointed that he did not get the expected car, threw the Bible on the table, left his family home, and since then did not communicate with his father…
A few years later, he received a report of his father’s death. The mother asked her son to look over her and come home for his father’s funeral. When the son opened the door of the house, he saw that the Bible, through which he was angry with the father, was lying on the table where it lay. After the greeting, Mom asked her son to pick up her up and see what was there. When the son opened the Bible, he saw a white envelope. And in the envelope he found a check dated the diploma defense day. And the check matched the amount needed to buy a new car. Only now did the son realize what great grievance he had inflicted on his good father.
His father loved him so much that he wanted to give him everything. Not only did he give him money for the car, but by handing him a Bible, he wanted to be reminded of what was most important in life. But the son threw it all away…
God is our Father. He wants us united to Him. When we sin, we ask for the Mystery of Repentance. The Mystery helps us become well again. The Mystery restores our new life in Christ.
God is merciful. Our sins will be forgiven, and we will be healed. When we were made Christians, we received new life from the Holy Spirit. The Mystery of Repentance gives us new life again. It is wearing our baptismal robe again.
It is so good to be reunited with Our Heavenly Father!
Rev. Myroslav Dumych