“Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me” (Luke 15:12), in these harsh words the younger son in the famous parable approached his dad asking for his inheritance. Let’s contemplate a little bit on these words and what they really mean. The younger son is asking his father to give him his share that he will receive after his dad’s death; I want to live my life freely and without any restrictions; I really can’t wait until you die; I’m grown up now and I do not need you; I can’t enjoy your inheritance as long as you are living; if I wait till you die, I’ll be too old, so give me my inheritance right now. In other words, you should give me your wealth and yet I’ll consider you dead. Words are very harsh, lacks love and maturity, lacks understanding of the true meaning of freedom and responsibility. Brothers and Sisters, I believe we address God in this same manner even when it’s not in words that are spoken, but in actions. We want His blessings in our lives but we want Him out of our lives. We want the health, wealth, the peace and the grace; but reject the giver of all. We say with the prodigal son, “Father, give me my portion of goods that falls to me”, then we quickly leave Him. This is the core of sin, that we reject the Love of God, as He wants us staying in His dwelling and under His wings. We reject His authority and He becomes dead to us.
Then when our beloved friend loses all his wealth, he loses everything else with it, as he becomes in his friends’ eyes as his dad in his own eyes; so they reject him and leave him and he becomes lonely, in need of food, hungry, cold and rejected. The most troubling issue with our beloved friend is his inner emptiness, which made him in an even more miserable condition after losing everything. But what really makes him move? It wasn’t the warmth in his father’s house, or the availability of the food, nor the plenty of joy and peace; but it was the love of his father. His first word was “father”, he is not returning to a strange person but to his own father. He recognizes the true meaning of repentance, he recognizes that he had committed a sin; but also recognizes the love of his father. Same for us, when we look at our sins without looking at the mercy of God; or when we look at our sins without hope, we would feel helpless and hopeless. But if we focus our eyes on our beloved Father, we are filled with hope and the light of His grace shines in our hearts.
So, the loving father received him with opened arms, forgiving all his mistakes; not asking about how, where, and when he wasted his living, but only remembering his sonship. Out of his love to his son, he killed the fatted calf and made the greatest banquet to celebrate; this is the banquet of love and joy with the return of the lost ones. His return to his father’s house, eliminated the huge gap that separated him from his father; he dressed him, put him a ring and sandals on his feet to put him back to his first image. All of this happens when the son recognized and remembered his “father”. So our spiritual trip is the return from the depth of sin into the house of God. This is when we decide to live not according to the world but we make God’s way to be our way. Looking into this parable, we come to Him in confidence, He is waiting for our return; as we approach Him in hesitation, He approaches us with His opened arms. He will dress us with the best robe, the robe of glory which Adam lost in paradise. He will put Christ Himself on us again, He is our protection when Satan attempts to uncover us through sin. It’s possible for us to go back to the Father, filled with hope that He is the seal of our glory and He wants our salvation. Our Father asks us for only one thing, “My son give me your heart” (Prov 23:26), and all the rest will be added unto you.
This is the hope that we all have, and we ought to take one step at a time until we are faced with Him in our final day. When we think of our judgment day, we tremble and we ought to. Yet, thinking that the one who is judging us is our Father and Redeemer, makes the judgment simpler while the hope is great. It’s this hope in the Father that enables us to walk one step at a time. Our Father loves us
with His unlimited love and we are invaluable in His eyes. When we return to Him, He receives us with love and mercy. Beloved brothers and sisters, I wish you a blessed great lent filled with spiritual growth, focusing on our merciful God, who forgive us our sins.