September 11, 2016
Sep 30, 2016
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time –
A Reflection by Fr. Leo
The gospel we hear today is an old and familiar one. We have heard it so many times that in some ways we may be tempted not to listen too closely. It may be an old familiar story but for me there are always insights that are fresh and new. When I first heard today’s story it was presented as the story of “The Prodigal Son”. As I got to know the story better, I began to think of it as a story of a loving father with two sons. Now my concern, when I hear this story, is the eldest son.
For me it is a sad moment when the father comes to the eldest son and confirms his love for him and assures him he has lost nothing in his brother’s return. Yet, we don’t know if the elder son enters the celebration or not. It leaves the possibility that his issues are more serious than his younger brother’s, if he is going to let his resentments keep him from entering the house.
I suspect the story keeps us hanging there so that we will wrestle with our own way of seeing the world, and our own ideas of what makes us worthy of God’s love and mercy. The one who cannot be merciful will not be likely to enter fully into the experience of God’s love. Let us ponder God’s love and ask ourselves if there are ways we limit God’s mercy. Let us too, ask the Spirit to help us to know the fullness of God’s love, that we may love as the Father loves us.