Wednesday after Reminiscere
Scripture: St. Luke 15:11-32 (NKJV)
15:11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.
13 “And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”‘ 20 And he arose and came to his father.
But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'”
In Luke 15 Jesus told three parables to the tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees and scribes. In the first one the point is that when the sheep that was lost is found there is great rejoicing in Heaven. In the second one, the same is true when the lost coin is found. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
In the third one, the parable of the loving father, again there is great rejoicing. In the parable of the two sons, Jesus pictures the grace of God in a wonderful manner, as being ever ready to pardon the repentant sinner. It is as if He were constantly watching the road for the return of the repentant one.
Jesus pictures the pardoning grace of God so strongly because the oppressed conscience must not doubt that God really intends to forgive. He sends out His pastors, His Word, His Sacraments to call and win us lost sinners back to Himself. Nothing in God should make us hesitate to come to Him. It is only our own blindness which does that. In Christ we have been called into His Kingdom, the Church. In this Kingdom He cleanses and nourishes us with the milk of the Word. He feeds us with His Body and Blood. And He keeps us unto eternal life. We certainly do have a loving Father.
We pray: O God, who sees that of ourselves we have no strength, keep us both outwardly and inwardly that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.