Personally, I have always struggled with the story of the Prodigal Son*…why? ‘Cos I always identified myself NOT as the Prodigal Son who wished his Father dead, took his share of his Father’s possession and left home, wasted away everything he had, realised his err and returned to the Father…but as the Older Son, who always did as he was told, obedient to his Father, hardworking, good…who upon the return of his younger brother was filled with anger that his Father joyfully welcomed his brother home, and not only that, threw a HUGE party for him! While as for himself, the Father never did such for him…

IF I WAS THAT OLDER SON, I would have felt betrayed that my Father appeared to care more for my “wild” brother than me, the obedient one…unloved by my Father, who never threw any party for me unlike what the Father did when my younger brother returned…jealousy…anger…hurt… dissapointment…if being good doesn’t get me my Father’s love, maybe I should stop being good…

Maybe I should become like my brother…maybe I should sin more…in order that I can experience my Father’s love…Afterall, as is said, “…there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent…”(Luke 15:7) that when a sinner repents, God will forgive him…therefore, in order to experience God’s forgiveness, I should sin…

And that always bothered me…because I know I don’t want to sin…and yet I feel “underchanged” cos if being a sinner who repents and being good both find favor with God (perhaps even more so with the repentant sinner) might as well I do sin…

But then a friend shared during our Faith Formation last night that Mother Mary, sinless as she is, called God her SAVIOUR**.

Now if Mary, the Mother of God, unblemished, without sin acknowledges that she needed saving…who are WE to think otherwise?

The truth is, the Older Son has always been with the Father, and all that belonged to the Father belonged to him…unlike his younger brother who fell from that union with the Father, needed to be saved…the Older Son was already saved from the very beginning…saved from actually falling into sin in the first place!

Now that really gave me a whole new way to look at my life…true, while I don’t claim to be sinless, I sin less than some people…it is not about me! Instead, it is about God who saved me from falling into sin in the first place – keeping me away or making me strong enough to say NO in the face of temptations…in fact, I only very recently found out how the family found Christ when I was just a young girl (and that I wasn’t BORN into a Catholic family as I had always thought…)…I was PRE-saved from the very beginning…and after 27 years of my life, I only now realised it…WOW!

*Luke 15: 11-32

**Luke 1:47

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