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The Return of the Prodigal Son (1670), by Bartolome Esteban Murillo

The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother

From the Gospel according to Luke 15:11-32

Then he said, “A man had two sons,
and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

Luke 15:16 Other ancient authorities read filled his belly with
Luke 15:21 Other ancient authorities add treat me as one of your hired servants
Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

if our hearts are open

by Reason2bCatholic

Many Catholics today, sadly, don’t know their Catholic faith very well. Such was it for me as a Cradle Catholic, until I began to mature in my faith in my thirties.  Yet, by God’s design working in and through His church, the Holy Spirit is always at work in each one of us in mysterious ways through the sacramental power of our baptism.

We may not know what moves a fallen away Catholic to return home to their faith, to their baptismal promises, and to the church founded by Jesus Christ – the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church – the Catholic Church.  However, when our hearts are open to the touch of God’s grace our lives can be transformed for all eternity.

For some, like St. Paul, as we hear in the Acts of the Apostles, this encounter can be so dramatic that it can blind us, only to have our eyes opened to the truth in new and unexpected ways.  For others the encounter may be but a whisper, like a gentle breeze, almost imperceptible. Dramatic or gentle, an encounter is always life-changing.

God’s ways are not our ways.  But if we allow ourselves – if our hearts our open – the Lord can change and transform us so that one day we can speak with love about the One who is love.  Opening our heart is an invitation to God who yearns to be with His children like any loving father yearns to be with those he loves.

Our father in heaven wants us home.  He wants you home.  If you’ve been away from the Church for one day, or for a lifetime, come home.  Your family misses you.

Disciple of Christ | Son of the Church

So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.”

The Story of the Prodigal Son, Gospel of Luke (15:11-32)
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Return of the Prodigal Son, c. 1661–1669. Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

Catholics Come Home

Watch and share this short video, and take time this month to reach out to someone away from the Church to let them know you care, and to extend an invitation to come home.


Father in Heaven,
Thank you for the gift of faith.
Thank you for the gift of conscience.
In those moments when I am lost, when I have departed from you,
 please awaken within my soul the desire to return to you.
I'm lost sometimes, Lord.
Please help me return to you. 
Help me to return to my faith in you, and in your Son, Jesus Christ, who entered into the world for a sinner like me.

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Jesus, I trust in you. 


Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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