February 8, 2012
HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN ALEXIOS` MESSAGE ON THE SUNDAY OF THE PRODIGAL SON
“On this day the Church reminds us of what we have abandoned and lost, and beckons us to find the desire and power to return. Our Heavenly Father is waiting and ready to receive us with His loving forgiveness and His saving embrace.”
Each Sunday during the Triodion teaches us a different lesson. The Sunday of the Prodigal Son teaches us about the love of a Father for His children – this love is so great that there is no hesitation. We are welcomed home and received immediately into His arms. It is His abundant mercy and steadfast love that enables us to partake of His Holy Communion, when we know deep down inside that we are unworthy of such a great love. Often it seems that we are not able to even think in the right way, much less act in the way that God would have us act.
If we could only understand with our hearts as well as our minds that this is our true joy and happiness - our Lord is waiting for us in the Church, He calls us to Him always, gives us opportunities to experience His grace and love through the sacramental life of the Church. If we truly understood we would be amazed and humbled and filled with love for Him.
Because this precious gift - our life - was given to us by God. The very word "gift" means that it was not and never will be something that can be earned. Because it is a gift of God, we are responsible for using it wisely and well. When we act without inner responsibility in this relationship between God and ourselves, then we experience death, the separation from God, and we are lost.
Conversely, if we try to use this gift in a positive way, we benefit, not only personally, but also our families, our relationships with friends, co-workers and yes, the world, benefit.
This harmony, this peace, when we use God`s good gifts in a way that pleases Him, pervades our spirits and our lives, in a way that benefits everyone.
As we prepare ourselves for the beginning of Great and Holy Lent, let us resolve to seek a closer relationship with our Creator – through the sacramental life of the Church, through prayer, fasting, and acts of charity. Like the Prodigal Son, let us come to our senses and our right mind, and seek His way, the way of Life and not the way of death.