In today’s Gospel we hear the story of the prodigal son. The father required his sons to work for him. One rebelled externally and pursued his own interests; the other inwardly rebelled but obeyed his father. Neither of them were free. The two will only find true freedom and joy of heart in obeying the law willingly.
Real freedom frees us from our sinful preoccupations that harm us spiritually and bind us from pursing false pleasures that will lead us away from God. Freedom is not a state where you can do whatever you want. Rather freedom is the state when you are no longer plagued with sin because you know what you want and what is best for you. This is where God’s law and the Church’s teachings guide us. St. John Paul II says, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." True freedom lies within our ability to chose what is right and just.
In this parable we are also reminded of the endless mercy of God. Luke 15:7 says, “There will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner that repents, than over ninety nine just persons who need no repentance.” There is no mistake that we can make that God will not forgive. There is no place too far the we can go that God will not come and rescue us with His infinite love. Which son are you? Are you inwardly or outwardly rebelling against the Father’s law and the church? If so, what is keeping you from being truly free? Whatever it is, today, offer it up to Jesus and let Him help you move towards the true freedom of being a child of God.