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The Prodigal Son

Fr. Walter Quinn, OSA
Priest Associate, Priests for Life

March 01, 1980
   
 

LK 15:1-3  MT 18:21

SNT =  St Nicholas of Tolentine began as an Augustinian Mission  Church in Atlantic City, NJ

in 1802 AD......& was Founded as a Parish Church on July 1902...located at Tennessee

                                           & Pacific Aves....one block from the Board Walk.

ONE OF THE MOST Moving & Beloved stories Our Lord ever told is the Story of the Prodigal Son.

 The Poet says....Love is a many splendored thing.  The reason for this is profound!   Love, Mercy,

 & Forgiveness are facets or faces of Love.  These qualities of Love, Mercy & Forgiveness are to Love

what Fragrance is to the Flower....as Light is to the Flame....sort of an Extension of Love’s very being. 

 

PETER COMES up to Christ & asks Him.....MT: 18: 21 ff.....”how many times must I forgive my brother...

....up to 7 times?”  JESUS REP[LIES.....”I do NOT say to you 7 times...but 70 times seven times!” 

 

THE STORY OF THE PRODIGAL SON...sums up the entire Theology of the Incarnation & Redemption.

 Our God in Heaven is always a Loving, Merciful & Forgiving God.  Our God is always like the Good

Shepherd.  He always goes out of His way....to seek out, to save & to help....the Downtrodden, the

 Sick, the Helpless.....& those who don’t know what to do....or where to turn next.

 

THE FATHER doesn’t pay any attention to.....nor list all the OLDER SON’S offenses....& then declare

them all officially forgiven NO!  He goes past the wrongs....& simply reaches out to his YOUNGEST SON

...& embraces him with Love, Mercy & Joy!  

 

 WE SHOULD NOTE that...the YOUNGER BROTHER who was so loyal all those years...is envious & resentful

of his Father for killing the fatted calf....& celebrating in LK 16: 11-31 ff......”the return of my son who

 was dead...& has come to Life again....he was lost & now is found.”  The younger son refers to his brother

 who returns home in sorrow.....NOT as MY BROTHER...but as YOUR SON.   He really was burned up!

 

 THINGS LIKE THIS happen in many families...but when family members get into discussions & arguments...

....they should recall that the Father in the Story says in  LK 16: 31 ff....”Son you are always with me...&

 all that is mine is yours....but we are bound to make merry & rejoice.....for your brother WAS DEAD.....

....& has COME TO LIFE...he WAS LOST & IS FOUND,.

 

 THIS STORY shows how God forgives us...& how He asks us to Forgive others....& to Love the Good in

 others.....How to bury the wrongs & hurts...to BURY them as you would Trash & Refuse!  MT 18:35

 in the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant....Christ tells us...”so also my Merciful Father will do to you....

....if you do not forgive your brothers from your hearts.”

 

BY CLOSING our hearts....by Refusing someone else our Mercy & Forgiveness...we CLOSE THE DOOR to

God Himself.   God will NOT FORCE us to open.  Christ also said...”whatever you do to the least of My

brothers ...you do unto Me.”  

AND MK 5:25....”the measure you measure with...will be measured back to you.”  Our Lord says....

even the smallest acts of Kindness will receive God’s Blessings...as we read in MT 11:42...”he who

 gives another a cup of water to drink...BECAUSE he is My disciple...AMEN I say to you he shall not

 lose his reward.”

 

   THE PRODIGAL SON PARABLE....REMINDS ALL OF US  TO LOVE THE SINNER...AND HATE THE SIN....

 

                         AND.....TO HAVE MERCY AND FORGIVENESS....FOR ALL WHO OFFEND ME!                                                                                                                            

   
 
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