Parents’ Love is God’s love

March 18, 2017
Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
The Gospel Today
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”‘
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.'”

REFLECTION (Sem. Rodel D. Aclan)

God’s love for us is truly beyond our understanding. It goes far beyond our ability to love. The Gospel narrative today gives us a glimpse of this love of God for us.

In our country, since not many parents can give inheritance to their children like in the parable, we can equate it to the untiring and perhaps unlimited support that parents give to their children. We know parents who even in their old age are still providing for their children even if they are old enough to work and sometimes even those who are already married. Parents as they are, they cannot help but support them financially. Perhaps their children are banking on the fact that their parents can’t leave them alone in their suffering.

But the sad part is more often their sacrifices are not even recognized and appreciated. Yet, they continue to provide for them, they continue to love them.

I think, this is also another story of the prodigal son, not because of the children who are dependent on their parents but primarily because of the parents’ unconditional love for their children though sometimes with scolding and even harsh words for them. Our parents would take the yoke that rightfully belongs to us.

Christ, for His love for us, did this first. He carried the Cross for us, crucified and died on it instead of us who rightfully should be crucified on it.

This summit of revelation of God’s love for man is made present by the love of our parents. We first felt the unconditional love of God through our parents’ unconditional love for us.

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