Saturday of the 2nd Week of Lent

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The Parable of the Lost Son


Even when the Prodigal Son returned he still missed the point. His motive was to have an easier life, for he thought, “How many of my Father’s workers have more than enough food, but here am I, dying from hunger.” Having decided to go back to his father, his focus was still on himself. He must have been asking how to appear good and what right words to say to his father: “I shall go to my father and I shall say to him…”

The point he missed: his father’s love. That since he turned his back, his father had been longing for his return.

Our Father’s love. We experience it especially in the Sacrament of Confession. Do we really? It would seem that for many of us confession is a matter of right mechanics and right number of sins reported. One penitent confessed: “Here are my sins: telling lies, 243 times; gossip, 527 times…” another penitent listed her sins on her cell phone, so she would not miss anything. Children are asked to list down their sins on a piece of paper which will be burned after confession.

A catechist tested her first communicants with a question: “What is the most important thing that happens in confession?” A child hesitantly stood up and proclaimed with her equally tiny voice: “The most important thing that happens when I go to confession is I experience the Father’s mercy and love.” (Fr. A. Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


During the Lenten Season, I was invited to hear confession in a parish. A lady narrated to me the litany of her sins for the past five years. She promised that she will avoid all these imperfections and change for the better. I gave her the absolution. After half an hour, she came back to me asking: “Father, are you sure that God forgave me from all my shortcomings.”

Many of the time, we are fascinated by God’s forgiveness and His mercy overwhelms us. The parable of the father and his two sons, the longest one in the gospels, illustrates who God is. The story points out the contrasting love of the father to the eldest son and to his errant brother. It is beyond human comprehension how the father welcomed back his son who was separated from him.

Full restoration of our friendship with God is possible through sincere repentance. God the Father is not concerned with our wrongdoings but our desire to have a renewed life in His grace. We need to learn and appreciate the depth of God’s love for us. Our loving Father does not utter to us words of forgiveness but reveals to us His mercy through concrete signs and symbols. In the parable, the father conveys his welcoming love through the beautiful robe, the ring and the festive banquet for his repentant child.

The eldest son’s pride hindered him to appreciate the kind heart of his father. It happens to us as children of God – our resentment to God’s forgiveness leads us to isolation and separates us from the community of forgiven sinners. This dramatic parable gives us a vivid picture of God who is beyond mere human understanding. Our loving God does not lose hope or give up when we stray.  God is overjoyed in finding the lost and delighted in seeing His children go back to where they truly belong. (Fr. Marlone Ramirez, SVD Bible Diary 2005)


In the year 155 St. Polycarp was arrested and later persecuted. When St. Polycarp was asked by the proconsul to give up his faith, he replied: “For so many years I have served Christ and he has done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior? You threaten me with a fire that burns for a season and after a little while is quenched; but you are ignorant of the fire of everlasting punishment that is prepared for the wicked.” These are the words of a man who, despite his being threatened with painful death was in full touch of his senses.

While living a profligate life, the younger son in today’s gospel parable was out of his senses. It was only later, when all his inheritance was consumed, that he came to his senses: “I will get up and go to my Father and say, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you….”

The older son was not also fully in touch with his sense. He did not realize what he had. He had been with his father many years and yet ironically, he found himself envying his brother.

We can be the younger son who messes things up then later realizes that he needs to return to the father with a humble and repentant heart. Or we can be the older son who experience much joy and freedom but later finds himself jealous or even angry at other people’s fortunes.

To which sons do we identify ourselves closely? Lent is the perfect time to be in touch once again with our senses. We maybe the most faithful believer or the most unfaithful, but it doesn’t matter. Like the father in the parable, our heavenly Father is eager to run to us, embrace us and clothe us with his love and grace. The Father’s love will bring us back to our senses. (Fr. Emmanuel Ferrer, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


February 27, 2016 Saturday

One morning while I was making up my bed, I heard some of our lady-helpers passionately exchanging thoughts on an Aglipay Christian who attended in the previous Sunday’s Eucharistic celebrations.

What caught my attention were their arguments on whether the Aglipayan Christian should be welcomed or not in the Eucharistic celebration.

One of them kept on repeating with affection how the Aglipayan was so hurt when she heard a comment from the congregation saying, “may naligaw na kambing ngayon” (literally, a goat lost his/her way and found him/herself here). For this, according to her, the Aglipayan decided to stop coming to the Catholic Church. She was wounded and ashamed.

In our gospel today, the scribes and Pharisees were complaining against Jesus because He welcomed sinners and ate with them. This was followed by the “Parable of the Lost Son” as if to remind us that the Father is so happy when a sinner comes back to Him.

If we apply this to the Aglipayan Christian, she is not even a sinner compared to the “tax collectors and sinners” in the gospel. She just wanted to attend the Eucharistic celebration with the intention of returning back to the Catholic fold.

Sometimes, we are also guilty of the same harsh judgment. Maybe not the same as the one who commented against this Aglipayan Christian but in some other ways, we judge other people and exclude them in our concept of “church” simply because we think they are not worthy to be in the fold of Christ because of their status and disposition in life.

But Jesus, in the parable, is reminding us how precious to God when a sinner returns to Him. For this, we are strongly invited by our gospel to be instruments for the facilitation of a sinner’s restoration to the fold and not a hindrance, lest we become scribes and Pharisees! (Fr. Ross Heruela, SVD DWIMS, Tagaytay City Bible Diary 2016)


LAVISH LOVE: Prodigal is defined in the dictionary as lavish and overflowing. The word ‘prodigal’ describes three characters in the gospel.

First is the prodigal son because he was overflowing with sin, vice and ingratitude. Second is the father, because he was overflowing with mercy. He was lavish with forgiveness and love. Third is the eldest son who was overflowing with work. He believed that by working, he could express his love for his father.

The gospel presents us with three prodigal persons: prodigal in sin, prodigal in forgiveness and prodigal in duty. If we have to be extravagant, lavish and prodigal, let it be a result of goodness, prodigal in forgiveness and lavish in mercy. It is better to be lavish in goodness than be criticized for being bad. If we must be lavish, let us be lavish in goodness. (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 184)


My Reflection for Saturday March 22, Second Week of Lent, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 – Reflection: Do you feel that because of the many sins that you have committed God doesn’t love you anymore? Think again, for the reason that no matter how sinful you are you are still very much loved by God. God doesn’t ask you anything in return for you to have His infinite love except for you to completely repent from all of your sins.

This infinite love of God is showcased in our gospel for today. The loving and infinitely forgiving father is no other than God. And the repentant young son who squandered all of his inheritance through debauchery and sinful living could be anyone of us.

We might think that because of our many grievous sins we are already beyond reach by God’s love and forgiveness. No we are not for the simple reason that God’s love is pervading, it’s like the sun which is available to all of us no matter where we are.

But for us to be reached by this infinite and pervading love of God. We must first be willing to repent from all of our sins and we must be willing to humble ourselves before God. True repentance occurs in the church when we humbly submit ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession.

Being the season of lent, it’s about time that we return back to our forgiving and loving God. It’s about time that we leave behind us our sinful lives and those people who influence us to commit sin.

Let us therefore humbly submit ourselves to this healing Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. (Marino J. Dasmarinas)


Saturday of the 2nd Week of Lent (A) – Luke 15:1-3, 11:32. What is God like? His younger son turned his back on him, squandered his hard-earned money by doing all kinds of immorality, and brought shame to his name. But when the prodigal son came to his senses and decided to come home, this father received him back with great joy, forgave him from the heart, and restored his dignity as a son with no condition. This heart-warming story is used by Jesus to give us an idea of the inner world of God’s heart. God is not only almighty; He is first and foremost a Father, who is rich in mercy and abounding in love for His erring children. God does not lose hope when we stray. He continues to wait for us, if not to search for us. And He rejoices in finding and in welcoming us back into his loving arms. (Abet Uy)


SATURDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF LENT (YEAR B) – LUKAS 15:1-3, 11-32. UNSA MAY KALAINAN SA KASINGKASING NGA MALOLOY-ON UG SA KASINGKASING NGA MADINUMTANON? Diha sa sambingay, atong masabtan nga ang maloloy-ong kasingkasing modawat pagbalik sa usa ka makasasala nga maghinulsol, andam magpasaylo, dili manudya, ug dili manimalos. Ingon niini ang kasingkasing sa Dios. Sa laing bahin, ang madinumtanon dili makig-uli sa makasasala, kusog magkwenta, gustong mosilot ug manimalos. Dili ba ingon niini ang kasingkasing sa kadaghanan kanato? Sama kita sa magulang nga anak diha sa sambingay nga dili modawat sa igsoon nga nakasala, bisan kon kini nagbasol na. Matod pa sa panultihon, “It takes a strong person to say sorry, but it takes an even stronger person to forgive.” Ning kwaresma hatagan unta kita sa Dios og kaisog sa pagpasaylo sa atong isigkatawo. Posted by Abet Uy


Jesus teaches about Forgiveness: This parable contains two remarkable things. The first is the son’s demand for his inheritance. To demand one’s inheritance before the death of one’s parents was cruel. It was to rob them of their “social security.”

The second is the father’s welcome of his son. He embraces him, withholding no affection. He puts shoes on his son’s feet. Freemen wore shoes; slaves went barefooted. Shoes removed from the son the sign that he was somebody’s slave and restored to him the sign that he was somebody’s son. Finally, the father puts ring on his son’s finger. It was undoubtedly the family’s signet ring. To possess it was to possess the power to act in the family’s name. in brief, the father forgives his son totally.

How forgiving are we of those who have sinned against us”

“Mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan.” (John Chrysostom)


FORGIVENESS – “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.” – Luke 15:21

One of my daily prayer guides is a booklet by Fr. Rupert C. Santos. It says: “My forgiving God, my sins, my weaknesses, my unworthiness will never change Your plan to forgive me, to love me and to redeem me.”

This lifts my spirit each time I go astray, when I tend to give in to my ways instead of following the Church’s teachings.

Human as I am, I commit mistakes, I slide back and falter every now and then. So in times like these, I do a flashback, pause and ask myself, “Are these the things taught to me when I was a kid?” I meditate and reflect. I ask God for His forgiveness. With a contrite heart, I start anew, relieved and refreshed, asking Him to help me nurture my faith further, “to see Him more clearly, love Him more dearly, follow Him more nearly, day by day.” Dr. Henry L. Yu (

Pope Francis Says: “Christ’s cross, embraced with love, never leads to sadness, but to joy, to the joy of having been saved and of doing a little of what He did on the day of His death.”

Lord, help us to be strong, to say no to sins. Transform our sins to graces, our weaknesses to blessings, our mistakes to new opportunities for growth. (2016.02.28)


Saturday, February 27

Mic 7:14-15, 18-20; Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

The elder son in the parable had everything – a loving and compassionate father, full of life, servants, celebrations and joy at home. But he failed miserably to recognize the love of his father, the jovial atmosphere at home and the celebrations. The elder son was so lonely doing his daily routine without experiencing the ‘paradise’ at his reach.

The elder son represents the helplessness of every human person in a family where there is communion of hearts, mutual love and full of life and vibrancy; but he was so alien to all of these. The father reminded him, “All these belong to you”. Still he could not understand it and experience it. The problem is his younger brother who returned, having spent lavishly the family property. For him the vagabond should not be allowed entry into the house and therefore rejected outright.  The loving father sees every angle of the episode in a different perspective and he wholeheartedly welcomes the younger son. The elder son needsunlearning of all his prejudices about his younger brother and with an open heart accept his brother and enter into the joy of the father.

The prodigal son wants to express his weaknesses to the father. But the father puts his compassionate hands on his mouth, not allowing him utter any word. Today we find exactly the opposite. Those who are in anger and hatred, keep on accusing others loudly in all possible foul language, causing lot of harm. Still not satisfied, they instigate neighbours to throw stones at their own dear ones! Here in this story, no words are spoken between the father and the son. Instead a series of brisk actions followed: putting on valuable ring, precious clothes, priceless sandals…, ordering a great banquet… call for a grand celebration… all symbolize that he is not considered as a prodigal son but reinstated as the real son and the father is  not in a mood to consider him as a servant which the son had offered in view of paying back everything he had squandered.

The prodigal son is a beautiful example of how we shall handle our language in all situations and our manner of speaking to others. We need to restrain our words to be to be holy, non-hurting and always prefer silence even if the truth is on our side. Control the  tongue and never judge others, never bring sexual accusations against any (squandered money with prostitutes!”)…, since the ‘tag’ may continue lifelong and spoil the reputation of others.

There is a prodigal son in every human being. There is a dark shadow side in us tempting us to seek comforts and pleasures and leading us to danger zones. But there is an angel in every one of us leading us to awareness of what is happening in us, leading us to light and to the father’s house.

The prodigal son returns home not only for food but also for the company of his father and brother. Jesus deliberately avoided mentioning a mother in the story because the father behaves as  lovingly as a mother. God is father and mother for us.

The exaggerations in this parable are intended: Jesus wants to demonstrate that God’s mercy is not restricted to legal structures and social conventions. There must be laws and regulations but the actual needs of human persons cannot be adequately met by laws. Love surpasses all. God’s love is so wonderful… Fr Shepherd Thelappilly CMI


February 27, 2016

REFLECTION: f we were asked to choose among the four gospels one page which best summarizes the whole message of Jesus, we would have to choose this Parable of the Prodigal Son—which, incidentally, has been called “a gospel within the gospel” (Jülicher). Why does it best summarize the message of Jesus? Because it presents in the person of the father of the Prodigal Son, who stands for God in this story, a perfect image of who God is: pure love and nothing else.

Perhaps what best expresses the father’s unconditional love in the story is the way he welcomes his wayward son. He runs towards him, something unseeming in the Near East for a man of high social standing. He kisses his son repeatedly. He interrupts his son’s little speech: obviously he is not interested in the reason which brought his son back (and he certainly does not demand an apology for the pain his son has inflicted on him). His reaction is pure love at recovering a son he has always missed so badly.

Such is God’s love for us. As long as we go back to him (whether for good or bad reasons), that is enough for him.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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