“But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found” (Lk 15:32).
The parable of the prodigal son is rather that of the prodigal father of immense pardon, not always easy for us who sometimes say: “I forgive you, but I do not forget”, and thus we register everything so as to bring it back up later. God’s style is exactly the opposite. He respects the choice of the younger son who opted for the adventure in the city where he squandered everything even to the point of finding himself without food. In this situation he realized that he distanced himself not only from home, but also from himself, because in the text we read: “But when he came to himself…”
The tenderness of the father clashes with the assertion of the rights claimed by the oldest son and not respected, according to him, by the parent. The son does not discover that the love of the father goes beyond human justice and he loses himself in mercy. The Gospel leaves us in this doubt. Perhaps it is better like this, because, in order to love as God, it is necessary to go beyond human logic. In order to do this, divine charity is necessary, that can fill our heart only if we empty ourselves.
So many people today do not want to take this risk, this leap of faith, trust and love into the arms of God the Father! They trust in their own intelligence and wisdom in order to justify their way of living. They do not want to take the risk of having to change their life and to suffer and thus they remain immature in their shabbiness without wanting to know more!
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An Experience of Life:
I have two children: one is seventeen years old, the other sixteen. With the older one I have just about no relationship. Sunday we were in the country with some friends; a car passed by and smashed a bottle. I thought that someone might hurt himself with the pieces of glass and I was about to bend down to gather up the pieces: I am a doctor, I am a Christian! My older son takes me to the side: “do not do that, it is the job of the street cleaner”. His sarcasm made me feel a pang in my heart: I had promised to myself to always be the first to begin to open myself, but when it happens like this my courage fails me.
We went to the Saturday evening Mass and at the door of the church were two beggars who I knew well because they come to my outpatients’ clinic and, when they saw me, they were very happy. I noticed that my son is on the other side of the street and was watching me, but I thought clearly how I must behave; I greet them and I shake their hands. I look up again: my son smiles at me and salutes me affectionately. He had listened to my livinb words of my coherence and of my reception with which I try to have only one model: Jesus.
Mario V. (Italy)