I went to church today, something that I occasionally do to help center myself, and heard about a lesson that is very important even to us and our journey. Mercy and forgiveness.
Luke 15:11-32 The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
The other son, frustrated by the lost son’s actions, could not understand why he was so openly welcomed. As we are going through our life journey and on our path, we don’t always understand why people stray away, or why they do the things they do. It’s not always easy for us to relate when we try so hard to continue working on what the Divine wants us to do, when other’s miss use their gifts that they’ve been given. It was when the son, who had lost everything, had finally lost his ego, and realized, that in the Divine, he had everything. For the Divine provided him with everything he needed. So he returned, to be welcomed into open arms. Sometimes we stray off our path, because we must learn our life lessons, must learn to release the ego, and find our way back again. And just when you feel that all hope is lost, remember, all you have to do is ask the Divine for forgiveness and ask to be welcomed home again. For the Divine is merciful and forgiving. We should continue to reach out to those who have lost their way. Never turn our backs on them, as we are all one and working for the greater good of the world.
This story definitely reaches an inner part of me. I’ve lost someone to their ego, and it’s hard for me to understand them and how they quickly lost their path. But I have not turned my back on them, and hope that they realize that they have traveled off the path and that they can come home, and when they do, they will be welcomed with opened arms into our family.