Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines - Victoria Sanchez - Teacher in Madrid

Father Who is Mother

Moses calms the anger of Yahweh. Paul sings paeans of what God’s mercy and grace have done in him, a sinner. Jesus speaks of God’s delight over a repentant sinner. 

Some people comment: “Had there been a mother in the story, the prodigal son wouldn’t have left home.” However, isn’t a mother truly present in the parable? Meditating on Rembrandt’s painting Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen writes: “The father’s left hand touching the son’s shoulder is strong and muscular. The fingers are spread out and cover a large part of the prodigal son’s shoulder and back.… That hand seems not only to touch, but, with its strength, also to hold.… How different is the father’s right hand! This hand does not hold or grasp. It is refined, soft, and very tender. The fingers are close to each other and they have an elegant quality. It lies gently upon the son’s shoulder. It wants to caress, to stroke, and to offer consolation and comfort. It is a mother’s hand.… He is mother as well as father.”  God is as much maternal as paternal.

Make the prayer of the Prodigal Son your own. Or, compose one of your own. 

Find on internet Rembrandt’s painting and meditate on it.ER 12, 2022


"God's mercy"

God always waits for us to resume our journey, he waits patiently for us, he sees us when we are still far away, he comes to meet us, he embraces us, he kisses us, he forgives us, that's God, that's our Father, and his forgiveness erases the past and regenerates us in love, he forgets everything.  When we sinners convert and allow God to meet us, we are not waiting for reproaches and harshness, because God saves us and welcomes us home with joy.

This Sunday's message focuses on God's mercy.

Yahweh forgives the unfaithful people (first reading), St. Paul (second reading) interprets his own adventure in the light of God's mercy when he was still "a violent persecutor", Christ showed him great mercy, and Jesus in the Gospel is a great instrument of God's mercy, who seeks what is lost, revealing the face of the Lord and his great weakness "with the sinner who sincerely repents of his sins".

In the parables of mercy Jesus says to the scribes and Pharisees who murmured against him: "God belongs to all, He excludes no one". In the parable of the Prodigal Son there is a precious story: He always goes out to meet the needy, without sparing time, trouble, compassion and companionship. 

Unwanted loneliness is suffered by many people who live in big cities, what a contradiction in the age of the difficult, we grow in humanity to the extent that we know how to listen. Jesus, as a good missionary, cannot stand the fact that some people are far away from God, so he goes out into the streets, mixes with the people and takes the Gospel to every corner of society. Christians have to take back the street: it is not possible to evangelise, nor to radiate God's mercy without going out on the street as a missionary, without being present in the civic environment. 

Prayer: Lord, help us not to criticise the people you love so much and who need you so much. Remind us not to judge.

(Psalm 50). I will set out for where my father is.



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