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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)

07 March 2024

Lk 15:1-3,11-32 - ...Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. ...

Lk 15:1-3,11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them Jesus addressed this parable. "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.'So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers. "'So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son. 'But his father ordered his servants,'Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.'Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him,'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.He said to his father in reply,'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'He said to him,'My son, you are here with me always;everything I have is yours.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.'"


The father was moved to see his son returning, who had failed in life and in relationship with him. Although the son did not count on it, he received mercy expressed by the tenderness of the arms of a loving Father. God is moved by our misery, not scandalized by it. Do not think that God hate you because of your sins, do not consider yourself as a spiritual loser. Such a thinking opposes God’s will and his love which want to save you. God once again accepts man, crushed by the yoke of sin and scarred by the suffering that evil has inflicted on him. Is our attitude towards such people similar to God's attitude towards our weaknesses? Is it easier for us to understand someone's weakness or to be scandalized by it? Not only those who are great sinners can make mistakes, but also those who are close to God, who have never committed any great evil, and who are "correct" in their faith. The second son from today's Gospel was like that: correct towards his father, but only externally. When confronted with his brother's weakness, his weakness was revealed and it turned out to be scandalizing. To understand a sinner, you must discover for yourself that you are a sinner. Without this truth, being with God turns out to be only an illusion, appearances based only on what is external, and inside you can see the same, and maybe even worse, evil. Therefore, let us not focus on the sins of others, but let us ourselves bring our sins to the Father and seek refuge in His merciful arms.

Father Marcin Cwierz, OSPPE

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"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience," (Col 3:12)  

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