|Rembrandt's famous Parable of the Lost Son painting. Image borrowed here|
|Parable of the Lost Coin. Image borrowed here|
Last Monday, I attended a 2-hour Lenten Recollection by Rev. Fr. Froilan Briones of The Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament (SSS) organized in our beloved St. Paul the Apostle Parish. He prepared a very well presentation on the subject of 'Spirituality of Love, Sacrifice and Unity,' in relation to one of our parish's main vision which is COMMUNIO.
Key gospel verses discussed in the presentation were the three parable of God's mercy (the main theme of Luke 15) and are as follows: the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Lk 15: 3-7), the Parable of the Lost Coin (Lk 15: 8-10) and the Parable of the Lost Son (Lk 15: 11-32).
For once I did quite enjoyed the evening to bask in the silence and the solemn atmosphere of our church while listening to some truly Godly reflections.
The highlight of the talk was in the climax of the Prodigal Son's verse where all was challenged to identify oneself not with the Younger Son (representing the tax collectors and the sinners in Jesus' time) nor with the Older Son (representing the Pharisees and the self-righteous in Jesus' time), but with the compassionate Father - the true main focus of the parable who - exemplified his loving mercy and tenderness when he accepted back the repentant son.
The main theme here rather than conversion was the restoration of a believer into the fellowship with the Father after falling from grace. It paints a picture of how we must respond to our repentant brothers and sisters in our daily lives. Here we are reminded how the three parable of God's mercy came after Jesus' teachings about the demands of discipleship where we are shown that He is not only speaking of God's mercy and forgiveness but He is as well insisting his followers to imitate God's attitude.
- We don't have to (and can't) earn God's love.
- He loves us because He considers us as His children. We are family.
- God won't force us to live by His rules. If we insist, He will let us go our own way.
- If we choose to do things our own way instead of the Father's way, we have to live with the consequences of our actions.
- God will ALWAYS accept a repentant sinner, no matter what the person has done.
- Those who have been GOOD should not resent those who have been FORGIVEN.
- No matter what we have done in the past, God is genuinely happy to see us come back.