We Will Never Be Lost !

In 1986 Henri Nouwen, a Dutch theologian and writer, toured St. Petersburg, Russia. While there he visited the famous Hermitage where he saw, among other things, Rembrandt's painting of the Prodigal Son. The painting was in a hallway and received the natural light of a nearby window. Nouwen stood for two hours, mesmerized by this remarkable painting. As he stood there the sun changed, and at every change of the light's angle he saw a different aspect of the painting revealed. He would later write: "There were as many paintings in the Prodigal Son as there were changes in the day."

Rembrant Painting Prodigal SonIt is difficult for us to see something new in the parable of the Prodigal son because we have heard the story so often.  Yet, I would suggest that just as Henri Nouwen saw a half dozen different facets in Rembrandt's painting of the Prodigal Son, so, too, are there many different facets in the story itself.

  There was a young couple, a husband and wife, who won the grand prize on a TV show called "The One Hundred Thousand Dollar Pyramid." They were jumping up and down and screaming like people do on game shows. They won more money than they had ever imagined, an American dream come true. But winning all that money really ruined their lives. Whereas they had always lived within their means in the past, now they went out and got dozens of credit cards and ran up enormous debts. They were about to lose everything they had and were on their way to getting a divorce. I know many people would love the chance to ruin their lives with all that money! Maybe you'd like that chance, too. But remember, this couple was truly sad. They were prodigal children.

  Grandpa and his granddaughter were out for a walk one day when Grandpa realized they had walked a whole lot farther than their normal walks. He asked his granddaughter, "Do you know where we are?" The girl said, "No!" "Do you know how to get home?" Again the girl said, "No!" Then Grandpa asked, "If you don't know where you are or how to get home, does that mean you’re lost?"  The girl said, "No, Grandpa! How can I be lost if I'm with you?" If we are with God and His Church we will never be lost in our lives.

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church