O Jesus, give to me the grace of conversion.
(Picture Jesus confronting his critics)
This is a parable of God’s mercy which explains the decisive moments of the Final Judgment. What a surprise! Publicans and prostitutes enter Jesus’ Kingdom. Why? Because they realized the need for conversion. They changed their “no” into a “yes”. The Jerusalem leaders, however, change their “yes” into a “no”.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The first son represents a sinner who sees his own disobedience and feels guilty.
- When repentance is preached, he changes his “No” to a “Yes”.
- He takes advantage of God’s mercy.
- The second son represents people who think they have no sins.
- They fool themselves and feel no need for repentance.
- They reject the favor of forgiveness. Their superficial yes becomes an unchangeable “No”.
- The result is obvious. The sinners enter the Kingdom because they took advantage of forgiveness. Others are excluded because they see no need to change their lives.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- God, your forgiveness is everywhere, like rain falling from the sky.
- O Jesus, I shout from the housetops, “I am a sinner.”
- O God, I will change every “No” that I have said into a “Yes.”
- By your mercy, my second state will be much better than my first.
- O Jesus, your power to forgive is far greater than my power to sin.
- O God, why should I hide my sins from myself when they are so evident to you?
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will write down all my sins (so they become evident to me) and I will confess these sins to a priest.
+ I will trust totally in God’s mercy.