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Today we read the Gospel of the Parable of the Prodigal Son as we journey towards the beginning of Great Lent.

This Pre-Lenten Gospel is read because of the theme of repentance. Through the example of the Prodigal Son, as well as the compassionate love of the Father, the Church seeks to inspire and guide us to true repentance, to the Holy Sacraments of the Church. Great Lent is not only a period of external practices such as strict fasting but above all it is an opportunity for prayer, inward reflection, confession of sins, conversion of the heart and renewal of the mind.

This is not a period of doom and gloom for Christ’s teachings of repentance are that of joy. This we see in the story of the Parable where when the Prodigal Son returns to his father, it is a time of great joy and rejoicing, embracing him and kissing his son. This is the central meaning of this gospel, for it illustrates to us how our relationship with God should be like. For when we are away from Our Lord, Jesus constantly seeks for our return to Him, so he waits patiently for this to happen.

As we prepare for our journey to Pascha, let us do so with joy in the hope of repentance and remission of our sins!

Prodigal Son