LK 15:1-3, 11-32
Today’s Gospel embodies the theme of repentance and forgiveness. When the Pharisees and scribes complained about Jesus welcoming tax collectors and sinners to eat with him, Jesus addressed them with the parable of the prodigal son. There was a man with two sons. The younger son asked his father for his share of the estate, and after being given his inheritance, went off and spent his money on a life of sin. Soon the he had nothing left and he had to take a job tending pigs. One day, he came to his senses and decided that he would return to his father. Admitting he had sinned, he would ask to be treated not as a hired worker. When the younger son returned, his father ran and hugged and kissed him. The father threw a feast to celebrate. When the older son heard the news, he was angry, because he had always done the right thing, but was never thrown a celebration. Their father stated that because the older son had always been with him, the all of the father’s belongings belonged to the older son. However, the father added, they must celebrate, because the younger son, who was lost, was now found.
When we become lost in sin, like the prodigal son, God, our forgiving father, will always welcome us back. God loves us unconditionally! Lent is a time of forgiveness and healing, so during this Lenten season let’s return to God through repentance.