This Sunday we have one of the most famous stories from God’s lost and found department: the Prodigal Son. It is told in the context of the religious leaders complaining about the company Jesus keeps. Jesus reminds them and us that he has come to seek out and save the lost. Both brothers in the parable estrange themselves from their Father by acting out of their false selves. The younger son wastes his inheritance on passing pleasures with prostitutes, but then “comes to his senses” and through his father’s extravagant mercy embraces his true self not as a hired hand but as a beloved son. The older brother is also lost once he finds out the party is for his spoiled brat of a brother. He refuses to go in because he resents the generosity his father extends to his younger brother. He is hurt because he has been the loyal son, doing his duty, and his father hasn’t thrown a party for him. The father meets the older son on the porch and reminds him of his truth: “My son, you are here with me always and everything I have is yours.” The story reminds us that nothing we do while living our false self can erase our birthright as a beloved child of God. So, as God’s beloved daughters and sons, Paul reminds us we are “ambassadors for Christ” who have been entrusted with “the message of reconciliation.” May we live our birthright and extend God’s extravagant mercy to those who are most in need. Remember, reconciliation is not about being right. It’s about being in relationship.
Watch Fr. Joe Nassal’s homily, below.