The Parable of the Lost Son
It is interesting how much we know about this probably one of the most known parable of all – to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, and yet at the same time, we can know so little of the deeper meaning behind it.
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
Can you imagine if your son/daughter today asks you for your house before you pass on, how would you feel?! But to God (the Father), His love is unconditional and ever-flowing and He agrees.
Following that, as we all know, the son takes the money and travels to a distant land where he squandered all his money. The son then takes up a job feeding the pigs and started to feel sorry for himself. He came to his senses remembering that even his Father’s servants had more to eat than himself. He decided to return to his Father and to beg for his forgiveness.
How often when we sin, we feel guilty and worthless and we all dread the words “I’m sorry” to the one we hurt. At least for myself, it is extremely hard. Ironically as well, the closer I am to the person, the harder it is. Besides the fact that we can’t put aside the pride within ourselves and the potential reaction from the other party, there is another part of acknowledging and admitting that we were wrong that makes it so difficult. We may know in a little part of ourselves that we made a mistake, but to form it into words and solidify the notion between people makes all the difference.
If we were to examine all these difficult feelings of acknowledging our wrongdoings, it all ties down to being self-centered. We are scared that others will react poorly to our confession, we are scared to admit that we are below others, we are scared that we lose that self-esteem and pride in ourselves.
What is then, the true meaning of admitting our mistakes and seeking forgiveness?
The main focus of saying “I’m Sorry” should point to repairing relationships and forming strong bonds. If we can put ourselves aside for a while, we may open up to a stronger and more beautiful relationship between each other and with God. Think about the last time somebody opened up to you and admitted their wrong-doing. Surely, you felt a fuzzy warm feeling and a desire to pull that person closer to you.
So what happened to the son who decided to return to his Father?
20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.