Thought of the Day February 20, 2019 Mercy and love

By 10:02 AM

The younger son (in the parable of the Prodigal Son)  asked for what he deemed was his by right, his inheritance.  What he received was the gift of love, since the inheritance was not his until his father died.  And yet the father out of love gave it to him, when he was still living.  When the son lost all because of his selfish lifestyle, he did not deserved to be a son, for he had thrown the privilege away when he separated himself from the father.  He did not even have a right to be a servant or a hired hand. In justice the father should have treated the son with contempt, as the latter had treated the father.  The elder one should have humiliated the son as the father was humiliated.  But the merciful love of the foolish father could not permit him to do anything else but forgive, accept and restore this his son.

This mercy is made clear when the father could have rightly demanded the son to plead with him for forgiveness.  Instead of running to the son, the father should have waited for the son to come all the way to him.  But all the actions of the father B from running to his son, from embracing and kissing his son, from putting a ring on his finger and rich robes on his body, from killing the fatted calf and declaring a party of celebration B all pointed to a total gift of mercy.

The core of mercy is found in the real dignity inherent in the father and in the son.  In the words of John Paul II: AMercy is based on the common experience of the dignity that is proper to a person.  It is his dignity that makes the son understand the truth about himself and his actions; it is that re-found dignity that is respected by the father in a way that he seems to forget all evil done.@ (6)

It is mercy that dictates that it is better to restore the person than to destroy the person; to love the person into life than to hate the person into death; to extend to another what in greater degree has already been given to me. (To be continued)

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