Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Short Lesson For Us From The Prodigal Son

Last Friday, I asked my audience in the lecture about our Lord Jesus Christ to tell us something of their experience of Christ rather than their knowledge about him. Those who answered, except for one, gave Biblical words on Christ’s redemption. I wanted them to tell us of their experience in their life of Christ’s redemptive love. The Prodigal Son who wasted his money in the pleasures of life is the one who, not even able to eat what the swine in his town were eating, experienced the need to go back to his father’s house. From his experience, and not from his theological knowledge, he made the decision to turn back (metanoia) to the father. I believe that we are today in the same situation as that son. We have not yet started the journey back home. We are hesitant to turn back to our father whose Spirit lives in us and continues to urge us to reconcile with this all-loving Father. We suffer, like the Prodigal Son, but do not know what awaits us. The Prodigal Son too did not know what awaited him but out of self-preservation, he made the journey. He was not a saint but a great sinner. He was not a knowledgeable person, but literally an ignorant. He only loved himself but that did not stop his father from loving him as we know from the rest of the story. Here is the epitome of the parable. His father, an old man, was looking out for him every day. Upon seeing his son far away, he runs to meet his son and kiss him. In those days, almost 2,000 years ago old people had their dignity that they would not run to meet their children. But here he even falls on his son who had betrayed him – may be to grasp his body in an emotional picture unseen in ancient traditions. When the Prodigal Son started uttering his words of sorrow and request for forgiveness, his father would not let him finish. Immediately he orders his servants to give him the best of cloth, the sandals and the ring (symbolizing the son now is a king in his father’s house) and finally slaughters the animals for a great dinner to celebrate. The joy of the father was enormous. I imagine, the entire community (heaven?) is invited to share in the celebration. Here, Christ said it to his hearers in those days. And today, in our suffering physically, spiritually, psychologically, and economically, who can we go to? Except that Peter said to him “Lord, To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6: 68)

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


See Links to Websites Below