The Parable of the Prodigal

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Twenty-Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time

 

Luke 15:1-32

The lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. The three parables convey a story of loss. In all three stories begin with a mundane comfortable situation turning into an uncomfortable situation of loss. In the end the joy of recovering the loss is incomparable. However, let us look closely at the uncomfortable experience of loss. To understand loss we need a reference of something valuable that’s suddenly missing. That is, we experience the loss of peace when turmoil hits us. We miss good food when we are sick and forced to eat bland food. We miss the loving people in our lives when they are no longer with us. Therefore, we cannot experience loss if we don’t have a reference to something valuable.

Our souls will experience true turmoil simply because we turn away from God. There’s nothing in this world that can truly fill the void of God in one’s soul. Many saints have experienced it in their journey of faith – it is called the “Dark Night of the Soul”. We experience loss but we never give up hope. No one is truly lost until all hope in God is lost.

But on the other hand, God is a good shepherd in search of the lost sheep, the woman that searches for the lost coin and the Father who awaits with open arms for his son to return. Sometimes we may deliberately choose to get lost, seeking autonomy from God. Out of Love for us, he gave us this free choice to be with Him or run away from Him. But God is patient, He waits until we realize that we need God in our lives to make it meaningful and mostly he doesn’t really give up on searching and seeking us out.

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