Living the Gospel – March 31, 2019

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I remember reading the gospel of the prodigal son in times past and feeling it was very unfair. I could understand why the older
son was very upset. The message here is that God the father is always there to welcome us with love and open arms when we repent of our sinful ways and return to Him. As a parent, I can relate as to why he is so happy that his son has come back to him, realizing the error of his ways and begging forgiveness. But the oldest son is angry at both his father and his brother. His feeling is that while he has done everything the father asked of him, his brother has been leading a very sinful life. Yet the father welcomes him home without so much as a rebuke and to add insult to injury he throws a huge celebration for him.

“Artwork of the return of the Prodigal Son from 19th-century American-German bible. Public Domain. Bible published by DW McDevitt, Chicago, 1882. Artist Unknown (not credited in Bible)”

How would you react if you were in the older brother’s shoes? How would you feel if you found out God just forgave someone who once wronged you or someone you simply don’t have much respect for? Would you be acting a bit self-righteous like the Pharisees were? Is it possible that many of us are going thru life with all the talents that God has given us and we are not using them according to the way God wants us to use them? Are we using these talents only for personal gain possibly? Are we not then squandering our inheritance like the younger brother was doing?

We have to remember that God’s love is without limit, there is enough love to share fully with everyone, and hatred and anger will have no place in the Kingdom of God. Jesus is telling us that God wants us to love our brothers and sisters as He loves us, and to forgive others as He forgives us even if it isn’t easy. We must strive to improve ourselves by reading and studying the Word of God and asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten and encourage us to become who God wants us to be.

Thanks be to God

Lloyd Lapierre