The Parable of the Prodigal Son
In the parable of the prodigal son one thing that our Lord illustrates for us is the love of God the Father for mankind. The father, while only seeing his son approaching from afar, runs out to meet him, and he receives his prodigal son with love and joy. This gives us a glimpse of how much God loves us and also of the value He places upon us. The one word, the name, “father” says it all. God is our Father and we are His children. God Who is the “Master of all, Lord of heaven and earth and of all creation, both visible and invisible, Who sittest upon the throne of glory and beholdest the depths; without beginning, invisible, incomprehensible, indescribable, changeless.” (Service Books of the Orthodox Church, St. Tikhon’s Sseminary Press, p. 139) This is He Who is “our Father and we are His children.”
So let us focus on this today, and to do so we shall take a look at what St. Silouan the Athonite tells us about this relationship. He writes:
The Lord created man from dust but He loves us as a father loves his children, and waits with longing for us to come to Him. The Lord so loved us that for our sakes He was made flesh, and shed His Blood for us and gave us to drink thereof, and gave us His most holy Body; and thus we become His children, of His Body and Blood, and are in the likeness of the Lord in the flesh, as children to the end are like their fathers, and the Divine Spirit is witness to our spirit, that we shall be with Him to all eternity.
The Lord never ceases calling us to Himself: ‘Come unto me, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt. 11:28) He nourishes us with His most holy Body and Blood. In His mercy He schools us by His Word and the Holy Spirit. He has revealed His mysteries to us. He lives in us and in the sacraments of the Church…. (St. Silouan the Athonite, St. Valdimir’s Seminary Press, p. 386)
Man is made of the dust of the earth but God so loved him that He adorned him with grace, and fashioned him in the likeness of the Lord.
It is sad that, because of our pride, so few of us know this. Whereas if we were to humble ourselves the Lord would disclose this mystery to us, for He loves us dearly.
The Lord said to His Apostles: ‘Children have ye any meat?’ (John 21:5) What love these words reveal! But the Lord loves not only the Apostles but every one of us like that.
When the Lord was told, ‘Behold, thy, mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee,’ He answered and said, ‘Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same is my brother, and sister and mother.’ (Matt. 12:47-50) (Ibid. p.388)
This is so because
In the hearts of the Saints lives the grace of the Holy Spirit, making them kin to God, and they feel without a doubt that they are spiritual children of the Heavenly Father, and therefore say, ‘Our Father.’
The soul rejoices and is exceeding glad at these words. By the Holy Spirit she knows that the Lord is our Father. Created of earth though we be, the Holy Spirit dwells in us and makes us in the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the same way that children are like their fathers. (ibid. p.388)
So then, as St. Silouan points out we see that,
The Lord made us kin with Him. ‘Thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee: may they also be one in us.’ Thus the Lord by the Holy Spirit makes us one family with God the Father. (ibid. op. 389)
Through the prayers of St. Silouan, may our Lord Jesus Christ help us to make this a living reality in our lives. Amen!