The week, we hear the story of a wealthy man with two sons. The younger son asked his father to give him his share of the wealth so he can live his own life. He traveled far away from home and lived a rich life for years until he had nothing left. He went back to his father, begging for a job as one of his servants so he can at least have some food to eat. As soon as his father saw him, he ran to his son and welcomed him home. Not as a servant, but as his son. The older brother, who worked his whole life, and always followed his father, was upset that his brother was welcomed with a party. Their father responded by saying, your brother is home safe. We need to be happy because he was dead and now he is alive. He was lost and now he is found.
Our first lesson in today’s gospel is to admit our mistakes and to ask for forgiveness. The prodigal son returns home hoping that his father will forgive him. He is surprised to see his father’s reaction of love and support. The father sees his son and immediately hugs him, forgives him, and celebrates his return home. God is always ready to forgive and welcome us back to his home. He is always full of compassion, love and mercy.
We also see the older son is not as accepting of his brother’s return. He, who followed his father all his life, believes that he is more deserving of the rewards of his father’s love and inheritance. We must remember that God does not love us because we are perfect. He loves us because we are accepting of those who are not perfect. He is accepting of all of us who are not perfect and have made mistakes.
The Church will always accept us back when we ask for forgiveness. And we must accept each other and forgive each other for our mistakes. A father must always love, accept, and forgive his children. Brothers must always love, accept and forgive each other. We, as a community, must do the same. This is what family is. This is what our Church is. Love each other. Accept and forgive each other. And always respect each other. Never let pride, greed, or jealousy win over love.