Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Mar 14, 2009)
Readings: Mic 7:14-15, 18-20; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
" '... your brother was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' " Lk 11: 32
In four days we'll celebrate the feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, a Bishop and Doctor of the Church from the 4th century, who was well known for his defense of the faith and his catechetical writings. In his writings, he emphasized the importance of truth in healing the wounds of the human soul, like that of the prodigal son in today's Gospel. Cyril in one homily refers to Jesus as the "physician who heals souls by imparting true knowledge, which is knowledge of Himself, and so of the Father."
This insight points us towards our Father in heaven, the One who loves and heals us. In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus tells us the truth about God as our all-merciful Father. Jesus communicates this through a story in which a rebellious son receives a spiritual healing as he encounters the reality of his father's unconditional mercy. The son, after squandering his inheritance on dissolute living, thought of himself as only worthy of being his father's servant.
Yet, according to the late John Paul II, the prodigal's encounter with the truth of his father's love begins to restore his dignity — the truth about himself as a son:
The Father first and foremost expresses to [the prodigal] his joy that he has been "found again" and that he has "returned to life." This joy indicates a good that has remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his father's son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself.
Through His telling of the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus — the Divine Physician — communicates to us the truth about His and our merciful, Heavenly Father so that we can be healed and set free.
Loving Father, help me to come to know the truth of who You are. Through this experience, may I come to a better understanding of my own dignity. Help me, as your beloved child, to grow in a deeper love of You. Amen.