*REFLECTION CAPSULE FOR THE DAY – _March 23, 2019: Saturday_*
*( _Based on Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32_)*
Six-year old Johny planned to secretly give a surprise to his father, on his birthday.
He decided that he would secretly bake a cake for his father and that would turn out to be a beautiful gift.
>> He was aware that that his father had told him not to put on the oven without his permission
>> He was also not really sure how a cake is to be baked
Yet, he decided to give it a try…
So on the previous night, after he made sure, his father had slept, Johny quietly crept into the kitchen.
>> He had a manual with him which would guide him to bake the cake.
He found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour can, spilling it on the floor.
He scooped some of the flour into the bowl with his hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor.
>> Meanwhile, his kitten, had joined him, and was busy enjoying the bits and pieces fallen on the ground.
Johny, was all covered with flour and he was also getting a bit frustrated as the mixing was taking much longer than expected.
But he wanted to do something for his Dad!
He didn’t know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, (and he didn’t know how the oven worked)!
Suddenly he saw his kitten licking from the bowl of the cake dough.
>> He tried to push her away.
But in the frantic act, he knocked the egg-tray on to the floor.
In desperation, he tried to clean the floor..
… but unfortunately he slipped!
Just then, he raised his eyes and saw his gigantic Daddy standing before him.
He just remained on the floor….
…. All messed up and dirty…
Large tears swelled up in his little eyes!
The father kept watching him.
>> Johny was sure that he was going to receive a big spanking and a scolding was on the way.
But to his surprise, making his way through the mess, Daddy reached out to him.
>> He picked up his crying son hugged him…. And loved him!
In the process, Daddy also dirtied his clothes!
But here was a beautiful picture of a Father who displayed a tremendous love and acceptance…
.. even if it meant to dirty himself!
True love knows no bounds!
The Gospel of the Day – the Parable of the Prodigal Son – is the beautiful exposition of the Unconditionally True Love of the Heavenly Father to each of His beloved children!
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is surely one of the most popular, the most loved and the most touching parables of Jesus.
This parable has three main characters and we could view any of them as playing the main role in the story:
1. The Prodigal Son
>> He went away from the love of his father
Inheritance was given to children only after the death of the father
>> In asking the inheritance, therefore, alluded to the fact that the Prodigal son considered his father to be dead!
But having spent his life in useless living, he realised the emptiness and vacuum that filled his heart.
And so he decided to turn back.. and go to his father
2. The Elder Son
>> He remained the faithful “servant” of the house
But when he saw, that his brother – who had wasted away the inheritance, was received with so much warmth, his temper rose!
He couldn’t digest the fact that his brother who lived a “wasted life” was honoured….
… whereas he was never given the chance to “enjoy with his friends”
The context of the parable is Jesus speaking to the “Pharisees and scribes” who were “complaining that Jesus always accepted sinners” (Lk 15: 1-2)
>> In this context, the character of the Elder Son portrayed the attitude of the Pharisees and Scribes.
But beyond these two characters towers high the Image of the Father – the Father who loved and accepted his lost son!
>> He suffered a deep pain when his younger son went away
>> He underwent immense pain waiting for the son to come back
>> He went through moments of dilemma when his elder son was opposing the welcome of the younger one
Yet through all this, the Character of the Father towers high!
>> He is the Father of Mercies – Who accepts all, just as they are
>> He is the Father of Love – Who loves everyone, unconditionally
>> He is the Father of Compassion – Who receives all to His loving embrace
In our life, often as children – like the Prodigal Son – we go away.
We try to do something good…
… but our life turns into a mess!
>> Our student life gets messed up with lack of commitment and failures
>> Our marriage hits the rocks with misunderstandings and lack of acceptance
>> Our family life gets into a crisis with lack of unity and peace of mind
We feel our life is all in a mess…
>> We find ourselves lost, frustrated and upset!
But in all such situations, we need to look up…
… and see how the Loving Father is waiting to embrace us…. And love us!
Yes, the Merciful Father is waiting for each one of us…
… Whatever be the mess, that my life may be in!
Let us run into His embrace of Love… with a sincere repentance and contrition of heart…
>> And pledge to live for Him, and with Him…
*God Bless! _Live Jesus!_*
*- Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS*
*Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)* – “ _Stretch out your hand to Him like a little child to his father…_
… _so that He may lead you on!”_