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The prodigal father
of the prodigal son



There was once a man who had two sons
The father loved his two sons with an unlimited love
But one of them
The youngest, wanted to live his life
To travel far
To a place he dreamt of so many times
To a place he imagined being a better world than his home
More beautiful, wider, and free of paternal discipline
He wanted to experience life
Setting off on far away roads
Enjoying encounters with other
Living great adventures
Living life to the full
He wanted to give free rein
To his so long restrained energies
To the demons lying deep inside him…

"Father I am leaving"

With an aching heart
And because of his respectful love for his son's freedom
The father let him go since he was at an age to do so
"He gave him his share of the property"
And saw him leave with a spring in his step, in great haste
Without even a backward glance
Because he was taken up by his dreams
Smitten by his wild dreams

"At last free, I am free…
I can do whatever I want,
As I want, when I want…
No more paternal guardianship
No more discipline,
No more rigor, strictness
No more dignity…
All the girls are mine
All the drinking and the intoxication are mine
The inebriety and a carefree life are mine
The open air is mine
The atmosphere of the big cities
Where there are no limits
No secret police officers,
No name, no self control
Where it is forbidden to forbid
Life is mine, alcohol, drugs also
I want to have… and have…"


But things took a dramatic turn
Money dried up
War broke out
Hunger hit the stomach
Thirst burnt the tongue
And false friendships vanished
Loneliness struck and misfortune held sway...

Goodbye illusive and momentary dreams!
Welcome reality!

At last "He came to his senses"
At last he rouses himself from his dreams reduced to ashes
He wakes up with an aftertaste of bitterness,
Of humiliation, of guilt, of envy…
But he wakes up even though,
As if bursting out of the life still left for him
He says to himself
"All my father's hired workers have more than they can eat
And here I am about to starve
I will get up and go to my father…
I will go to my father…
And I will tell him…"


And he gets moving
Chewing over his reconciliation
Encouraging himself by repeating it with the vanishing
Strength still left in him
Along the long road that separates him from his father's house…
He starts walking to his father…
He has no other choice…
He prefers to confront a scorned, abandoned, forgotten father,
Than facing his monstrous misery, his inescapable death…
And there he sets off
And so does SALVATION…
His initiative won't be vain…
Oh, how much better it will be
Because while still far away
A father, thirsting for his son
Rushes up to him
Languishing with love
Bursting with tenderness
"He was still a long way from home when his father saw him"
He is shaken to the core
His father ran and threw his arms around his son
Covering him with kisses held back by absence and distance…
At last, my son is here and that is enough…
He is back; my heart is filled with joy…
He said to himself:
"My son was dead but now he is alive
He was lost but now he has been found…"


To the servants, he gives his orders
Hurry, robe, shoes, ring…
Hurry, prepare the table
Then go and get the prize calf and kill it
And let us celebrate with a feast…
For this son of mine
He was lost, he was dead
He has been found, he is alive …


In the meantime
The older son has come back from the fields…
What does he see, what does he hear?
What is the meaning of this chaos?
To what do we owe these festivities?
He looses his temper; his face goes red with anger
He gets ready to straighten out the situation
And what if father has become old, what if he is raving?

Indeed, love is unreasonable…
It has no logic
"No, my son, I am not weak but unreasonable
Because of my love
Because each of you has a share of my heart
And each one of you possesses my whole heart
Can you understand?
Will you understand?
You will when you'll have two sons of your own…
Now come and rejoice with me, with your brother…
It is a time of great reunion…
Let us not spoil it with mean and petty speculations
Open your heart
Widen the space of your tent
And be worthy of the name you hold
My son...!


Sr. Marie-Antoinette Saadé - SFM

Exaltation of the Glorious Cross l'esprit de reconnaissance Impossible is nothing The lamb Searching & Belonging The Wedding at Cana Week of the Priests What’s in a name? The sin of the world Jesus’ Inspiration Christmas Revelation to Joseph Birth of John the Baptist Visitation to Elizabeth Announcement to Mary Announcement to Zechariah Announcement to Zechariah Renewal of the Church Pastoral Care Compassion True Prayer? Be on time! Doing the right thing What are you doing? Real prayer? Asking Host and Friend Approaching Jesus Host and Friend Mary the God bearer Our Quest In difficult situations Where we are In difficult situations Where we are Faithful to Christ see and hear Shaping our lives (Jn 14:21-27) Commissioning (Mt 28:16-20) Treasures Given Experiencing Jesus Time to Go Called again and again Emmaus Thomas Easter Morning The Passover meal, an urgent invitation, an unusual feast The triumphant entry into Jerusalem The Blind Bartimaeus, Son of Timaeus The Paralyzed Man and The Four Porters (Mc 2,1-12) Healing of the bleeding woman and resurrection of Jairos’ daughter Purifying the leper Mark Birth of John the Baptist - - How shall I know if this is so? I am an old man, and my wife is old also

Blessed week Let us pray : 


Christians in Africa.

"That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace."



               
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