We are invited on this 24th Ordinary Sunday to meditate on the joy, the joy of the Lord and to participate in this joy. We read in Ezekiel 33:11, God does not desire the death of the wicked; it is that they change from their evil behaviour that they convert. The divine wrath does not destroy the person, it transforms and renews. If man is able to discover this divine love and mercy, he will convert and this conversion will certainly please God.
The happiness of finding the sheep and money lost and found his dead son and alive today, these are the good times that the man wants to live. We all lived in our daily lives a moment of joy and happiness and at the same time a moment of sadness and heartbreak. Yesterday we celebrated the glorious Cross that reminds us of the paradox of life, it is on the cross where the Saviour of the world is found. It is in these rifts, in these deep sadness’s that we discover our strengths and our capacities. Is it not true that in the Cross we discover the true revelation of the deep love of the Lord?
That's why for us Christians, the Cross is a treasure, Saint Andrew of Crete tells us. Each of us must learn to live through these difficult times and know how to concretely commit ourselves, such as the shepherd who lost his sheep, the woman who lost her money and the father who lost his son. It is in these concrete commitments that all have found joy. These parables teach us that God always remains open, makes himself accessible, He welcomes us with great joy. We must ask ourselves this question. Do we feel emptiness and seek the Lord daily?
It took miserable suffering for this little boy to understand the love of his Father. Let's not forget a truth that this parable tells us. It's not his misery helped and gave him the hope to return to his father's house, rather his father's love. When he was with his father, he really felt the true mercy of his father and this mercy gave him this hope, so that he could go back to his Father. He was sure that he will find a place in the house of the Father.
The gospel of the day tells us, " Finally coming to his senses,". We must go deep inside ourselves to know God. Let’s not sleep, come to our senses. Do not look for him outside of us. Our history of salvation, the history of the holy people, the men of good will, are there before us, so that we convert and believe in the Good News.
The Lord's Church invites us to participate in the joy of our Father, a Father who awaits us with great love and mercy. Here is the eldest son who refuses to enter his home. He is right. He reacts against this injustice committed by his Father. He rebels against his Father and his prodigal son. There is no dialogue. He is content to be out of the house. The Father drops the festivity, and he walks toward his eldest son. He proposes the dialogue and he makes him understand and reasons the importance of the festivity of which this son refuses to participate. The Father leaves this son free to act. Let him choose his own way. If he leaves the house after recognizing the suffering of his Father, he will bring much more misery to his Father. Yet the Father who has recognized all that this son has brought him will leave this son free to discern as he did before.
The Father remains silent, the festivities continue, and we have the choice. It's better to say it again, "Yes, I'll get up, and I'll go to my Father. Amen.