24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – The Prodigal Son

The old man of sin still sleeps within the heart of the baptized Christian, who is always free to make compromises with evil. And it is very difficult to strip oneself completely of the mentality of the kingdoms of earth which one inherits in being born into the world — and which sleeps in the dark depths of the heart with all its perversions and its selfish law of the jungle — in order to put on the “new man” of rightness and perfection. The evil and sin in the world saturate us and attack us from every direction. And in our own hearts there are always rationalizations which will give them an entry.

Luckily enough for humankind, God loves man with an obstinate love which follows him everywhere, no matter how far he wanders. God loves us like the father of a boy who lets himself be reconquered by the spirit of evil. The sinner loses his divine status, his rights as a citizen of the kingdom of God. But God waits for him always. He stands at the roadside, ready to welcome him, to give him the dignity of a son. The only thing necessary is for the errant boy to express a gesture of regret, to take the first step homeward. And he’ll see God come out to meet him.

The priest is the one who has received this mission to make known to the world the limitless goodness of God for man and to dispense forgiveness in his name with open hands. His, then, to live in contact with the greatest sinners — with Jesus’ help and all the good sense necessary.

Father Eusebe Menard in his book At All Times.




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