A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 15:1-32
" Then he said, "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spend everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens, who sent him to his farm, to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinner against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."' So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because the son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns, who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.' He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found." The Gospel of the Lord
+Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit, Come Holy Spirit Amen
Let us contemplate the Father's Heart. This Gospel is perhaps one of the favorite passages in Sacred Scripture. I love it deeply. From the lips of our Lord, we come to know more, of the Father's Heart. Let us slowly read this passage-prayerfully. "Chew on these words" and listen. What did the younger son say to the Father, that caused the Father to run towards him, embrace him, kiss him and press him close to his heart? Did you find the words the younger son spoke? You are right, he didn't say anything. First lesson we can learn, the Father initiates Mercy, When we look at the younger son, when and where does he "come to his senses" and why? What brings him there? Acknowledging our interior poverty and sinfulness can be a place of immense grace if we open our mind and heart to Truth. It is here we realize our sonship/daughtership in God, that we are beloved children, precious to Father, and our choices, good or evil effect each other. We see this reflected by the son's words, as he sat there 'pondering', " I shall get up and go to my father and say to him, father I have sinned against heaven and against you." What a powerful moment for the younger son, when he realizes that his choice and actions have repercussions both with his father on earth and with his father in heaven. When we begin to acknowledge our sin and our choice in it, it is then we also begin to look upon others with compassion and we accept them as our brother and sister in Christ. What choices have brought me close to Christ? What choices have separated me from being near to his heart? Lastly, when you think of the words "Coming to his senses" what exactly does that mean to you? Is it something exterior with my five senses or is it something deeper and rooted in Truth? What am I saying if I say, I came to my senses the other day? Think of what was going on what that happened to you once? Now take that in prayer- Listen to Jesus. What is the deeper Truth, that the Lord is drawing you into right now? LIsten-Be with Him, acknowledge- and do as Jesus directs-He shows us what to do in this parable. When we (by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit) receive the light to see what must change, go! go in the direction of the Father! He will do the rest.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, Have Mercy on me, a poor sinner, a poor sinner who loves you. Amen