“He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.” (Gospel reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32)
While meditating upon the parable of the prodigal son, I have always related more to the prodigal son’s brother. I can imagine myself being as jealous as him, even when I know that Jesus offers me eternal life, and that “everything [He] has is [mine].” However, I know that the most exhilarating aspect about being Christ’s disciple is the fact that Christ demands me to give Christ-like love.
Giving Christ-like love means thinking and acting against my fallen human thoughts and ways, and instead, thinking and acting like Christ. This often feels like the hardest thing in the world, but it is consequently also feels like the most rewarding thing in the world. I know that if I am humble and I let Him, Christ can transform my thoughts, my ways, and most importantly, my heart.
Regarding the prodigal son: “Coming to his senses, he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired words have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger….”. Indeed, whenever I feel like I am falling wayward, I know that it is not my own wisdom, but the Holy Spirit in me, Wisdom Himself, who brings me to my senses and helps me to realize that I am more like the prodigal son than I know or am willing to admit. Yet when I accept my sinfulness and brokenness, I become closer to Christ and more receptive to His transforming love.
In the Most Holy Eucharist, Christ Himself prevents me from “dying from hunger.” His True Presence feeds me with Perfect Love and gives me the grace and the strength to say “no” to my fallen human inclinations and rather to love as He loves. I must be perfect as my Heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48), and I do this by perfectly loving as His Son perfectly loves.