LK 15:11-32




Can you blame the prodigal son? The boy was certainly in love, or so he thought. He was in love with life out there, far from his family. He was in love with wealth, and that was why he asked for his share of the inheritance pretty early. He was in love with women, who he thought would give him care and affection. He was in love with parties, where he believed he could find true friends. The boy was in love with an unknown adventure. So how can we blame him?


All of us can relate with the gospel today, the gospel within a gospel, the most beautiful parable of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the summary of all his teachings and his very example. And it is the story of each one of us.


All of us fall in love with this world or with the things of this world. And it is very natural. We see the beauty in people and things, in visions and projects, in goals and aspirations. We hear their promise of wealth, laughter, and security. And we want them now. We know that if we focus our attention on these things, we cannot wait for tomorrow. Our desire is urgent. And there starts our attachment.


But what happened to this young man happens to us all too. We soon realize that when we get too attached to things or people, when we try to fulfill our desires without patience, soon we spoil everything. We lose people we want to control. We destroy relationships we think we can manipulate. We spend our resources on things that do not last. The young man in the gospel soon realized that what he was looking for was not outside his home, not far from his family, not out there in the great unknown. What he was looking for was what he truly possessed from the start – the love of his Father.


With the Father, he needed to wait for the proper time to get his inheritance. With the Father, he needed to mature before he could venture into founding his own family. With the Father, he would need time to learn about relationships, maybe with his brother, people in the household, and with the neighbors. He must learn to let go for a time, to give himself space, to let love and respect grow. But in the end, the Father will give him all these things because of his love for the son.


This Lent, let us look into our hearts and see how much like the prodigal son we are. Are we trying to rush ourselves into instant wealth? Are we too attached and manipulative of the people we love? Are we looking for affirmation and approval of others? Let us return to the Father’s embrace and together with him, wait for the proper time, the best time, the divine appointment, to make our desires happen.