The Sunday of the Prodigal Son
Yesterday’s Gospel of the Prodigal Son continues to lead us to the Great Fast. Prodigal, meaning reckless, is often used to reflect the state of the younger son. He recklessly and without any sense of feeling or shame asks for his inheritance, effectively telling his father “You’re dead to me.” The younger son “…squandered his wealth in wild living.”
In this parable, we can also see the recklessness of the father. The father waits for his son’s return daily, "...while he was still a long way off his father saw him and was filled with compassion." The father quickly restores the dignity of his son by clothing him with a robe, sandals, and a ring. These symbolized both to the son and the surrounding community of complete restoration and forgiveness.
Where are you reckless?
Have you been reckless in sin? Throw yourself at the Father’s mercy. He will cloth you with a robe and sandals and a ring, restoring you as His beloved son or daughter.
Have you been reckless in mercy with others? Praise be to God in your imitation of God. Continue to extend mercy to others in your life and pray for strength to continue in extending mercy.
Let us not forget to imitate the son in his return to the Father, knowing that we will be welcomed back with open arms. And let us also not forget to imitate the Father in immediate reception and restoration of dignity.