Luke 15:1-3, 11-32Introductory Prayer:
Jesus, I renew my lively hope, firm faith and passionate love for you in this meditation. I want to thank you for this opportunity to encounter you and spend some time with you.Petition:
O Lord, open my heart to your loving forgiveness.1. Mercy in Abundance:
The lenient mercy of the father in this parable is scandalous. The son has cast his inheritance to the four winds without the least hint of remorse or concern for the consequences. Yet, he forgives his son without even the slightest taint of reproach. The father's visible outpouring of forgiveness hinges on a constant and patient benevolence. He shows his son forgiveness in word and thought. When seen solely through human eyes, this attitude is incomprehensible. However, this is God the Father's response to the repentant sinner. This is how God treats us in confession. How marvelous it is for us that we are on the receiving end.2. An Object of God's Mercy:
The father stayed glued to the window for countless days, unwaveringly expecting the return of his lost son. The son must have thought that he was "in for it" as he slowly made his way up that all-too-familiar footpath. Ordinarily, a father would have prepared a lengthy, scolding speech. In this parable, however, the father was quick to forgive because his love is boundless. In this parable, Jesus reveals to us the mercy that fills the paternal heart of the Heavenly Father.3. A Lenten Treat:
As we seek God's forgiveness this Lent, we don't have to travel far or long to discover it. The love of God is tangibly available to us in confession. Confession can be as joyful a reception as the tender embrace of the father in today's Gospel. To make this encounter profound, the Church recommends that we prepare for the sacrament by examining our conscience, arousing in our hearts a true sorrow for the offenses committed, making a proposal to avoid sin in the future, confessing all of our sins, and fulfilling the penance that the priest gives us. In this way, the conversion the Father desires will be deeper. The Lord waits eagerly for our return. Will I meet him at the door of confession?Conversation with Christ:
Heavenly Father, too often I have failed to seek your love and mercy. Keep me close to you, in thick and thin, until we embrace and celebrate our union in heaven. Then my homecoming will be a hundred times more joyful than this prodigal son's return. Thank you, Jesus, for your tender and merciful heart.Resolution:
I will prepare myself for the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation by doing a thorough examination of my conscience.