In today’s gospel reading, Luke 15, 1-3, 11-32, Christ revealed to us another of his divine quality that distinguishes him from us humans- the ability to forgive sins and forget. As I was reflecting on the motivation behind the church recognizing today as Rejoice Sunday the message passed across on the parable of the prodigal son became clearer- we rejoice with joy and happiness for God in his infinite mercy has forgiven our sins and accepted us back through Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection. The chunk of this thinking is embedded in the parable of the prodigal son.
However, the parable of the prodigal son, like the parable of the fig tree, makes an analogy of a young man wrecked by his thoughtless actions- sin, and his forgiving and merciful father. In this analogy the portrayed son represented us- like the prodigal son we are often caught up in sins engineered by our own actions. Thus the compassionate father represented Christ and his decisions were reflective image of Christ. The message behind the father accepting his languished son back despite the great deal of wealth he had squandered is a clear lesson to us that Christ can accept sinner- even the worst sinner on earth, as long as the sinner is willing to return to him for forgiveness. This lesson then spreads to capture the fact that every soul is important to God and as such he cannot afford to any soul. In this sense God accepts any repentant and remorseful soul with indescribable joy. Thus the sumptuous welcome party and hearty embrace given by the father to his repentant son is a demonstration of the big picture in the resurrection from the dead- a rebirth to new way of life from death- which Christ makes possible to us who believe in him.
In the same vein, the analogy makes a contrast of the two sons- the eldest son’s unwelcome and coldly reception to his brother and the sinful son, and the forgiving father’s sumptuous party and hearty embrace for his repentant son. This is a contrast between forgiveness and un-forgiveness. While the father forgave despite his son’s wrongdoings, the eldest son who had not been wronged showed no forgiveness. However, his un-forgiving heart turned him into a vindictive brother, which precipitated some sort of isolation and separation from others.
God in his infinite mercy gas given us his compassion and mercy, however; it is left for us to tap into this concession while we strive to answer his call. It can never be too late to get up from where we have fallen short of directions and get back on track. Today’s parable in the gospel has shown us the vivid picture of God and what he can do to bring us back to the rightful state he wants us to be at all times.