Saturday, February 23, 2008
There goes Jesus. Welcoming and eating with sinners. Doesn't he ever think about his public image or what people are gonna say about his strange behavior as he associates with those kinds of people? How could he be doing God's will if he eats with those kinds of people? They have entirely the wrong image for an up and coming rabbi. Their needs and cries for help are endless. They will wear you out.
How does Jesus respond? He tells stories, specifically, about the son of a rich man who takes his cash and runs, loses it and is reduced to utter destitution, who then goes home (he thinks) in disgrace and failure, only to be welcomed with open arms by a loving father. And there's that older and more faithful brother, who seems a bit miffed that the prodigal son was receiving such treatment.
The father displays the compassion preached by Micah -- a son was lost and now has been found. God does not "persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency", a fortunate fact of spiritual life for all of us prodigal sons and daughters of the Most High.