THE PRODIGAL SON WHO REPENTED – Sunday Sermon by Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga

(Biblical Readings 2 Cor 6:12-20      Lk 15:11-32)

Today we have entered into the period of Triodion (repentant hymns). The next Lord’s Sunday will be of Judgement, also known as Carnivale (meat farewell). Itself the parable, regarding the lost son or prodigal son (who repented), is one of three similar parables in the Chapter. The first is about the lost sheep (v 4-7), the second about the lost coin (v 8-10), and the third of the prodigal son (v 11-32), all together were said by the Lord Christ, because of some grumblings from people, tax collectors, outcasts, Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who accused the Lord murmuring that “This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!” (Lk 15:2).

The two shorter parables, in the Chapter, introduce us to the great question of repentance, as a quality or virtue of human persons, “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent” (Lk 15-7). “Even the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents” (Lk 15:10). Also, we saw in the lesson of last week, that the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was in the right position with God (Lk 18:14). Simply because, the tax collector repented – mobilized his essential quality, but the Pharisee never repented, for he considered himself righteous! (Lk 18:11-12).

Four main parts comprise the parable of today: i) property portioning in shares, ii) misuse of one of the portions, iii) repentance for the misuse of a portion, and iv) the conclusions gathered from the parable. But the essence of the parable discovers qualities (characters) of the Father and sons (children), on one side, as well as the rigid situations of the world, on the other side, The Father is kind and forgiver of all mistakes. The sons (children) are ignorant and seekers of self-enjoyment, falling in mistakes. And the world provides only temporary enjoyment.

The prodigal son used hidden agenda, to take away the property share from the family. And when he left the home, he had left for good, not expecting to return. Because, he wanted to be himself, free and far away from the eyes of the Father. This is the common attitude of humans, to isolate themselves from the real Being, from God the source of their existence. The results and consequences of this fall, from the real beinghood, are those characterized as desires of the flesh, the worship of idols or paganism in human life. Such plight obligates Apostle Paul to write the passage which we read today from the Epistle. It is a warm call from the fall. Read both the passages again.

The Corinthians had behaved like the prodigal son did. Apostle Paul, from what he writes to them, he behaved like the heavenly Father.” Have nothing to do with what is unclean, and I will accept you. I will be your father, and you shall be my sons and daughters’’.

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