This week as we Journey through Lent we come to a moment where we experience and witness the love and Justice of a father in response to a son’s greedy and unjust behavior. Lk 15:1-3, 11-32 We see that justice comes where there is reconciliation, and the path is prepared for justice to be actualized when we take responsibility and are willing to start a new path of returning to make things right. Owning ones mistake and unjust actions, and seeking to make amends.
We are familiar with story Jesus tells of the Parodical Son, when we shift our focus to the father in the Gospel it is here that justice is restored, love prevails and the lost are welcomed home. The youngest son does a great act of injustice when he asks his father for his portion of the inheritance before the proper time. This act treats the father as though he were dead, and had the potential to put a great strain and burden on the father and the entire household. But the father gives in and turns the portion of the inheritance belonging to his younger son over to him and lets him go.
This son after wasting all that he has, and now finding himself hitting rock bottom has as awakening, a conversion. Having lost everything and craving the slop reserved for pigs he comes to his senses and decides to return home and seek the father’s forgiveness and suggest that justice be done in reducing him to the status of a servant or slave.
Here is the power of this teaching for us, the father who had been so unjustly treated, disrespected and wrongly treated by his son is already been preparing by watching and waiting for his son. He had forgiven of the son on his heart even before the son had an opportunity ask for it and make amends.
The loving heart of the father is prepared to restore the relationship that the son has broken, all the son had to do is return. Justice and our working for those standing on the peripheries provides the opportunity for the those who hearts and minds are not set in the right direction, they are given the opportunity to return, to change of heart and turning to right the wrongs of the past and be open to something new. Saint Paul says in second Corinthians 5
” Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.”
This new life and reconciliation can impact the whole community. The other brother too has been hurt and is furious that there is a celebration for his brother returning. The loving father again reaches out to the elder son who also is upset and angry. This elder son represents the entire community effected by his brother’s greed and injustice, yet the father offers even to his justified anger an opportunity for reconciliation and healing.
We are called to be agents for change and to stand for justice so that those whose lives have been adversely effected by greed, selfish and disregard can be restored. Be instruments for change, stand for justice and seek to be agents for the dignity and transportation.
“So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.”