Sunday, March 14, 2010
Father Robert Spitzer, S.J. writes in his wonderful book, "Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life" in a section on the contemplative life, a meditation on Luke's parable of the Prodigal Son: "The parable of the prodigal son is Jesus' consummate revelation of the identity of God the Father. While revealing the nature of forgiveness and love, it shows the Father to be the fullest expression of that love. Some of Jesus' detractors were accusing Him of unjustifiably seeking fellowship with sinners. Jesus justifies his actions by noting that His conduct is completely commensurate with His Father's (Abba), Who is completely concerned for sinners and is capable of justifying even those who have abandoned and shamed their families, countrymen, the law, the covenant, and even God. The love of the father in this parable (who represents God the Father) is as close to an image of unconditional love as first-century Jewish images can portray." Father Spitzer then goes on to explain just how offensive the young man's actions were when he left with his father's inheritance, and it is far worse than we in the 21st century could imagine. I wish to leave you with an image that we all can and should meditate on. Here is the young man who as Luke writes "came to his senses" and upon returning home, his father runs towards him when he first sees him. God's mercy is boundless - Jesus is saying in essence that God upon hearing of our request for forgiveness and our repentance of our sinfulness runs toward us! How awesome is that! God running towards you and I, desiring to hold us and kiss us and say welcome home, for you were lost and now you are found. That is the love of God, the image we should keep close to our heart, for we will fall time and time again, sometimes hurting many and turning our back on God, but alas He lies waiting to hear from you, waiting to run to greet you. "what kind of love is this"? Meditate on it.
Posted by Paul Bernacchio at 8:26 AM