In the parable of the boy who leaves home and wastes his inheritance, Jesus gives us an account of the one son returning to his home (his father’s house), and the other son at home but refuses to go enter his father’s house. Yet the Father rejoices over his youngest son’s return and wants his first born to rejoice also.
We all have our areas of pride where we won't give in. It's that inner battle we face so often where our sinful spirit tries to thwart our good and noble spirit. It is that no man’s land wherein we get lost so easily and so often, but think back to how many times God has extended to you his mercy, and the grace of forgiveness. God has joy over our return to him. You and I make him happy.
I think of the promises I’ve made, I’ll loose weight, I won’t get angry. We even make promises that we will be faithful and true whether it's in marriage or as is the case today for me: my religious vows. It happens to be the 58th anniversary of my religious profession of the vows of poverty chastity and obedience. It is also the feast of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, the Augustinian parish priest, named the patron saint of the Souls in Purgatory – that place where we are purged of our weaknesses. Isn’t it fitting that this all comes together today September 10th: the long gospel today has three accounts of rejoicing over finding what was lost: a sheep, a coin, a son, and shows the purgatory we go through when we fail to live up to our many vows and promises.
Let’s ask for the grace to seek forgiveness from one another and from God? To receive the Sacrament of Confession, or Reconciliation, for God never tires of lifting us up and inviting us to share in his joy, to welcome us to His home.