The story of The Prodigal Son is one parable that we all can relate to in so many different ways. Each one of us can relate to f the characters in the story at various moments in our lives. We have all had our share of making bad decisions and coming back to our families, friends and our God to seek forgiveness and reconciliation. The younger son certainly experienced this in a most dramatic way. Having squandered his money he returned home planning on begging for forgiveness and found himself welcomed home with wide open arms.
We can also identify with other sibling. Having worked, obeyed and done “everything right” we are faced with accepting one who has not. This is a difficult reality even in the best of situations. We are called to be open, to forgive and to show compassion. Sometimes it is easier to just hold a grudge.
Finally, we can relate to the parent who forgives and welcomes back the repentant child. This is where we can see the merciful love of God in action. We all need to remember the importance of offering forgiveness, welcoming back one who has harmed us just as our God is always there to welcome us home with open arms.
Pat Schifini, OSU