SATURDAY 7 MARCH 2015
This is one of those dearly loved parables of Jesus. Another would be the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine behind and goes off in search of the lost one. And of course, the parable with the refrain: “whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me.”
Jesus addressed this parable to his Jewish audience and the lesson was very clear: “My son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” God’s mercy and forgiveness brings the sinner back from death to life.
“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression …? He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in mercy.” (First reading: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20)
Today a Christian audience is listening to this parable and the message is just as challenging for us: Can you be like your heavenly Father, so beautifully portrayed in this parable? We run the risk of being like the elder brother: unforgiving and bitter, unable to forgive that one whom we have condemned to death forever because we can’t forgive. Can you be like the Saviour who prayed “Father forgive them they know not what they do”?
“At least let us say to the Lord: “Lord, I am angry with this person, with that person. I pray to you for him and for her. To pray for a person with whom I am irritated is a beautiful step forward in love, and an act of evangelisation. Let us do it today. …”
(Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel #101)
Father, I praise and thank you for not treating me as my sins deserve, nor repaying me according to my faults. Give me your Holy Spirit so that I too can forgive those who hurt me and so walk a new path with them in peace.
+Bishop Edward Risi OMI
Diocese of Keimoes-Upington