(Twenty-four Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, September 11, 2016.
In order for you to know yourself, let us look at a family situation wherein one of the sons leaves his father’s home and later returns to it (Luke 15:11-32).
KNOW THAT YOU ARE UNITED TO EVERYONE ELSE
Human unity is best presented in the context of the relationship between a parent (father or mother) and a child. This relationship reflects the most intimate unity between two persons. (Human language does not offer any other word that can describe a closer unity.) The unity of the members of the family is the normal state (the essence) of the family, just as the normal state (essence) of humanity is realized in its members living in unity.
But once the son separates himself from the family, he alienates the nature of the family. Similarly, when human beings separate themselves from each other, human nature is alienated.
KNOW THAT YOU AND EVERYBODY ARE FREE
In accordance with his freedom, the son decides to separate himself from the family. The father, respectful of such a decision, does not interfere with his son’s freedom. Human nature suffers as much harm when a family member is deprived of his freedom, as when any member of society is deprived of his freedom. It is a solid foundation of your human nature that every person be free both within the family and within society at large.
KNOW THAT YOU MUST GIVE COMPASSION AND RECEIVE COMPASSION
The father, as the head of a broken family, is fully aware of the damage caused by his son upon the integrity of the family. In his compassion (justice), the father values his son more than anything else, and wants him back so the unity of the family may be restored. The father’s care and his genuine joy at the return of his son are of the essence to the family and to the entire human race.
Compassion is an integral element of your human nature. Without it, we would end up destroying ourselves in acts of vengeance, prompted by the harm caused by one another. Without compassion, the father would have rejected the son’s willingness to return, thus leaving the family permanently incomplete.
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)