Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we will listen to one of the best-known parables of the Gospel: that of the prodigal son, who, noticing the seriousness of the offense committed against his father, returns to him and is welcomed with great joy. Jesus narrates this parable to His disciples after the murmurings of the Pharisees who were scandalized because Jesus treated with love all those who are rejected and seen as second-class people because of their sins. The parable teaches us that no one is lost to God, and encourages every sinner filling them with confidence and making them know their goodness. The parable also contains an important teaching for those who apparently “according to themselves” do not need to convert: do not judge that someone is “bad” or exclude anyone. This parable is a call to act at all times with the generosity of a father who accepts his son as he is and treats him with unconditional love. Its recipients are not only publicans and sinners; It is not only those who turn their backs on God, but perhaps also we who have received so much from Him and who, however, are satisfied with the little we give Him in return and are not generous in dealing with others. The conversion we need could be less striking, but perhaps it has to be more radical and profound, and more constant: God asks us to convert to love by loving the sinner.
On another topic, I want to welcome all the children of the Religious Education program that this Sunday have begun the program. I ask God to pour out His Holy Spirit so that they can learn and know Jesus more. They are the future of the church and therefore we must form them in the faith as best we can. I thank the volunteers who agreed to be catechists; it is a very beautiful ministry and at the same time a great responsibility. God bless you for lending your lips to announce the gospel to these little ones. Welcome and have a very fruitful year.
I also remind you that next weekend will be our Ministries Fair, all our groups and ministries will have a table to let you know the charism of each one. It will be a festival of parish ministries, I ask you not to be indifferent and to please stop by the tables to learn about the pastoral richness of our parish. The ministries and apostolate groups are the presence of the Holy Spirit in our parish and as baptized children of God, it is our duty to participate and be active members within the church and especially our parish. I hope you enjoy and live this fair of Faith. At the same time, I invite those responsible for the ministries to contact the office to reserve your space and advertise your ministry or group.
Finally, I ask you to continue praying for the health of all those brothers and sisters of the parish who are sick. Help me pray for them so that they recover their health soon. In particular, I always keep you present in my prayers and in the daily Holy Mass. Let us make unity by praying and interceding for each other.
In Jesus and Mary,