Saturday of the Second WeekReflection
The familiar story of the Prodigal Son—perhaps better titled the story of the Magnanimous Father—is usually understood as a description of God’s unwavering love for us and His eternal willingness, even eagerness, to forgive and to welcome us back when we have gone astray. The beautiful details—the fine robe and the ring placed on the returning son—emphasize the Father’s boundless joy and unreserved acceptance and offer us reassurance for those times when we are the ones who have “squandered our inheritance” in one way or another—perhaps by making poor use of our time or talents to do good.
But we are also called to take on a different role in the story: the role of the magnanimous father. Being asked to forgive a violation of trust as severe as the one in the story is probably rare, but there are many occasions when forgiveness is needed on a smaller scale. Petty annoyances, misunderstandings and perceived insults crop up among friends and relatives and co-workers on a daily basis. We may feel someone has snubbed us or taken advantage of us. At that moment, can we find it in our heart to take the father’s role and reach out with love, extend a gesture of peace, forgive without hesitation though we may be the injured party? And, turning the story around again, I look to my friends and relatives and co-workers each day with the hope that when I cause hurt or harm, they will be magnanimous and forgiving of my faults.
Joyful forgiveness and welcoming is a sign of the Kingdom among us.
PrayerLord, You are generous and forgiving, always welcoming us with open arms. Help us to learn from You to be open, generous and forgiving of one another. Make us instruments of Your peace.
Zsuzanna Kadas, Professor of Mathematics
ScriptureFirst Reading: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website