The story of the Prodigal Son is a tale of redemption and reunification. The main emphasis of this short story is not how lost, depraved and sinful the son was, but how much love and forgiveness there was in his father’s heart.
I have found this to be the case with our heavenly Father. He has always been a loving and forgiving Father towards me. I have been a prodigal many times in my life; I have often been a wayward sheep and a disobedient child, but his forgiving love has reached out and rescued me over and over again.
In our Father’s house there is safety and joy. His forgiveness is a fountain that washes away our guilt and erases our sins from His memory. We forgive…sometimes, but our Father forgives and forgets. It is us that have a hard time accepting his forgiveness (or “forgiving ourselves” like some people say). In the Father’s house there is abundant mercy, grace and his table is always filled with the most delectable and nutritious food for our souls.
This is what the Prodigal Son left behind when he decided to leave his father’s house in search of great adventures and worldly pleasures. He exchanged his loving family for a harlot’s embrace, and he chose to eat pigs’ food instead of enjoying his father’s feasts.
This is also what we do when we fall into sin. We leave our Father’s house and dabble with the world, hoping to see how close we can get to sin without actually falling into sin. We draw near to the world, hoping to find excitement and happiness, but as we draw nearer, we realize that we have made a big mistake. The promises and pleasures of this world are nothing but a dirty pig’s pen.
Imagine for a second what the Prodigal Son must have felt when he found himself surrounded by pigs (immoral unbelievers), desiring to eat their “food.” As we all know, pigs eat mostly garbage and this is what sin is: Garbage, junk, poison and death.
Oh, that we could remember all of this when we encounter temptations! Open our eyes Lord and let us see that this world and its pleasures is nothing but a gigantic pigs’ pen. Let us return to God before we find ourselves drowning in the mud.