Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF

The younger son fled home in his inability to capture the love of the Father in his presence. The distance and the absence gave him a lesson of his father’s love. So intense was his home coming to his own senses:  “ ‘Tis vain to flee, for He is everywhere. He that seems to be your foe is your only fortress; He that seems to strike the blow, alone can stay it.”

The conversion experience of St. Augustine sums up the core of the return of the younger son, and it can inspire anyone who feel the need to walk the path of a conversion:

Such was the story of Pontitianus; but thou, O Lord, while he was speaking, didst turn me around towards myself, taking me from behind my back where I had placed me, unwilling to observe myself; and setting me before my face, that I must see how foul I was, how crooked and defiled, bespotted and ulcerous. And I beheld and stood aghast; and whither to flee from myself I found not. And if I sought to turn mine eye from off myself, he went on with his relation, and Thou again didst set me over against myself, and thrust me before my eyes, that I might find out mine iniquity, and hate it. I had known it, but made as though I saw it not, winked at it, and forgot it (Confessions, p.145)

God becomes a possibility for a despairing soul as it begins see the ray of God’s love in the darkness of Godless desires and enslaved senses.  Conversion is the conviction and the return to this love which is unambiguous and constant. This will be the best ever homecoming and the beginning of true joyful celebration. Instead of uttering any formula of absolution, the father said: “Let us celebrate and feast with a banquet because he was lost and now he is found.”


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