Pastor’s Weekly Message 3-31-19

Dear Friends of Carmel Mission,

In our Gospel reading from St. Luke, we listen again to the fascinating story of the Prodigal Son.

We know the story well, and we can identify readily with one or more of its characters, depending on where we stand in our relationship with God.

How often have we demanded from another what we believe to be our due?

“I’m entitled” is our favorite song, but we dare not sing it publicly, but save it for the shower.

We add new lyrics constantly, depending on the situation in which we find ourselves.

How dare anyone deny us what we feel is rightly ours, – our share of the inheritance?

When we mess things up, as we often do, we once again endeavor to save face and make things as comfortable as possible for ourselves. Those servants and farm workers on the “ould fellas” estate are paid more than the minimum wage, the work is not all that difficult, and we are guaranteed free food and comfortable lodging.

Survival skills reign supreme!

We return home, not because we recognize that we made a major mistake by leaving in the first place, nor because we feel sorry for rupturing the relationship with the “ould fella”, nor because we miss family and friends. We return home primarily out of self-interest.

Have we truly learnt a lesson?

God, being God, can read our heart. He knows the real reason we came back. But His divine judgment comes in second place to His divine mercy. He rushes down the road to welcome us home. He hands us a Nieman Marcus gift card!

Even then, do we begin to recognize how much He truly loves us?

In this story, we have an encounter between the mixed motives of an entitled person and the immeasurable mercy of God. Like the gift card, God’s mercy has no expiry date!

Please take a moment to read our weekly Parish Bulletin.

Fr. Paul

Pastor at Carmel Mission

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