Homily September 15, 2013 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted in christian, Christianity, ecclesiology, inspirational, religion, scripture by Fr Joe R on September 10, 2013

denariusToday’s gospel is one that everyone remembers because there is always a part that is relevant to their life. All of us at one time or another lose or misplace something or other and can’t find it. Depending on what it is, we spend varying amounts of time looking for it. We find relief or joy when we find it.

The story of the two sons is a similar story of lost and found and the added dimension of forgiveness. I say two sons because if you really think about it both sons are certainly in need of forgiveness. God’s love is in a way similar to a parent’s love for his children. He, like many parents, watches his offsprings grow and develop and seek out a life of their own even if it is one that he wouldn’t choose for him. It is hard for parents many times to watch the choices their children make, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the not so good. The father in our story today gives in to his son and gives him his seed money or inheritance, and he proceeds to waste it and in today’s terms goes bankrupt, both physically and spiritually.prodigal son At this point, Dad and home look pretty good, but embarrassment and bad feelings stand in the way of going home. Only desperation leads him home.

The Father is a loving Father who understands and who forgives and embraces his son glad to have him with him at his side. The emptiness and sense of loss is gone, replaced by his son who is home. Nothing can replace a son in his father’s heart. However, this reunion is not the end of the story, because there are two sons. The elder son who was in the fields returns and is offended (jealous) that his brother is home. He is angry and feels deprived and taken for granted. He doesn’t like the younger brother being welcomed with a banquet. Why has he never been so rewarded? Perhaps he has a point that the father too him for granted, but the father as a good Jewish father reminded him that as he was the eldest son, all that he had was his and that this was so, His joy was for what he was missing and had restored. His love was certainly big enough for both sons and also his forgiveness.

Ultimately, that is our lesson today, forgiveness. Each Sunday at Mass, we receive the Sacrament of forgiveness at the very beginning. It is something we need to remind ourselves of the significance of this very real and significant preparation for the Eucharist we share. These gifts are ones we need to share with all especially our family and to be reconciled to all. It is a strong message and if we look at the gospel, we see sin can effect even our physical being as Christ at times healed the sick by simply saying your sins are forgiven. Such can be the power of sin, but look at the opposite and the freedom given in the power of forgiveness.


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