Joel Martinez – March 31, 2019
The parable of the prodigal son shows us the fatherly love for his son who had decided to leave the house and enjoy his inheritance. Probably this decision was not affected by the son’s lack of love for the father, but rather, because the son did not recognize the love that his father gave him.
We are called to recognize the love of the Father that is shown in Jesus Christ his Son. If we are not able to know the sacrifice of the Son, we cannot recognize the love of the Father.
This morning, I invite you to be present at every moment and to try to witness in a virtual way what happened in Jerusalem during the last week of Jesus’s life. I ask you, please, try to interpret the meaning of each action during these questions.
Were you there, when Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a little donkey, stretching out your clothes or palm branches and praising him joyfully? “Glory to the Son of David.” “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” “Glory to God in the highest”.
Were you there, when Jesus wept for the city of Jerusalem? Do you see and feel his sadness?
Were you there, when Jesus entered the temple and drove out those who bought and sold there and overturned the tables of the money lenders and declared: “My House will be a house of prayer.” Do you feel his anger as he sees this hypocrisy?
Were you there, in the Upper Room, when Jesus converted that Last Supper into the First Supper, the Holy Eucharist, Holy Communion of the Christians?
Were you there, when the Lord washed the feet of his disciples to show them that they should have a vocation for service?
Were you there, when Jesus announced the new commandment: “Love one another …”?
Were you there, when Peter said to Jesus: “I am willing to give my life for you”? and Jesus answered: “I assure you that before the rooster crows you will deny me three times”.
Were you there, when Jesus announced that one of his disciples was going to betray him?
Were you there, in the Garden of Gethsemane, asleep, even though Jesus asked His disciples to stay awake and pray that they would not fall into temptation?
Were you there, when Judas Iscariot arrived and kissed his Master, to deliver him to the high priests for 30 pieces of silver?
Were you there, when the people accused Jesus of presenting false testimonies and blasphemy?
Were you there, when Peter denied Jesus and the rooster crowed?
Were you there, when the crowd asked for the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus, and shouting: “Crucify him!”?
Were you there, among the women who were crying as Jesus carried the cross to Golgotha to be crucified?
Were you there, when the solders forced Simon of Cyrene, to carry the cross of Jesus?
Were you there, with His mother and the other women who were crying at the foot of the cross?
Were you there, when Jesus was nailed to the cross?
Were you there, when the Son of God cried out: “Forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing”?
Were you there, when the soldiers cast lots for Jesus’ clothes?
Were you there when Jesus said, “I am thirsty,” and instead of water they gave Him vinegar with gall?
Were you there, when the soldier nailed Jesus’ side with a spear?
Were you there when Jesus said? “Everything is fulfilled”, “Father, into your hands I entrust my Spirit” and he died.
Were you there, at that moment, when the veil of the temple was torn in two?
Were you there, when the Roman captain declared: “Truly this man was the Son of God!”?
Were you there, when Joseph, the one from Arimathea, asked Pilate for permission to take the body of Jesus and he wrapped him with bandages and buried him in a new tomb?
Finally, were you there in one of the most significant moments when Jesus made Himself present to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (the mother of James and Joseph); did you see and hear the Lord say to them: “Do not be afraid?”
Now, come back to reality through space and time. Right there, where you are sitting, and ask yourself: How important must we be to Christ that he sacrificed himself for all of us?
You and I are like prodigal children who must recognize the sacrifice made by Jesus to show us the love of the Father. God awaits us with open arms, no matter our iniquity or sin. He only cares that we love him with all of our heart.
Take a minute in your seat; meditate on the sacrifice made by Jesus, and think if you are that prodigal son who needs to turn to God.