Gospel - Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 - The Parable of the Prodigal Son
‘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 this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Visit the USCCB's website for the full Gospel Reading.
Written by Matthew Bisner
Sophomore, Saint Patrick High School
If you're anything like me, you've heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son so many times you can probably recite it by heart. When something becomes so commonplace, however, it is easy to take it for granted and overlook its continuing importance. It's like the beauty of a sunset, down here on the Mississippi Gulf. Sometimes we are in such a hurry to get home that we forget or simply overlook the fact that the sky is displaying a masterpiece of God's creation. In the same way, I think we hear the words “Parable of the Prodigal Son” and dismiss it because it is so commonplace. There are some very important spiritual challenges, however, that we must take from the story.
For instance, I think not only is the Parable of the Prodigal Son an allegory for God's love, it is also sort of a challenge for how we are to live as good people of God, a calling we should hear especially during Lent. As sinners, we are likened, of course, to the younger son who strays from the fold only to be accepted back at no expense. At the same time, though, we are called as Christians to be the prodigal son's father, because we are called to show forth love and mercy to all of God's people, especially those who have wronged us. In this Lenten season, we can ask ourselves: “Is there someone who needs to be forgiven?” If so, forgive them with no hope of getting anything in return, but forgive for the sake of forgiveness. What a marvelous time this is for us to forgive! The Year of Mercy is the perfect opportunity to spread the message of Jesus’ Parable and of Pope Francis himself. In this way, we can be like the father in the parable, and we can hope to show forth the love of our Heavenly Father. This Lent, let us ask God for the humility to be the prodigal son and the courage to be his father.