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First Reading: Jos 5:9A, 10-12
Responsorial Psalm Ps. 34:2-3. 4-5, 6-7
Second Reading: 2 Cor 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Today’s Gospel features the well-known story of the Prodigal Son which
illustrates God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. Lesser known is the
deeper message of the parable.
The Gospel parable of the Prodigal Son illustrates God’s unconditional ac-
ceptance and forgiveness. God is a God of endless second chances. No hu-
man being can escape making mistakes. If we are wise, we learn from
them. I have been a very slow learner. The deeper message of the parable
of the Prodigal Son is that God allows us to make our own way through
life, even when the path we choose is a dead end. God gives us the free-
dom to make mistakes, to make bad choices. But God is always
there, always ready to warmly embrace us when we turn around
and head in the right direction. God gives us the freedom to be
co-creators of the gift of life God gave us. Whether we choose to
walk with God or without God, God’s love remains constant. No
matter what we do in life, no matter how bad our screw-ups, God
is there to help us pick ourselves up and start over. The journey
through life is a twisting path, filled with ups and downs, possibili-
ties and potholes, consolations and desolations. The journey is
hard. We must climb mountains of problems and traverse deserts
of doubt. But God is there walking with us, pointing the way, and
so there is no need to fear or falter.
Life, the Gospel proclaims over and over again, prevails over
death. The story of Jesus does not end on the cross but in the res-
urrection. God is not finished with me…or you. God is always la-
boring to bring about a new creation in each of us…especially
when others seem intent on judging and destroying us. Jesus