Strong words from Saint Paul in today’s second reading. Baptised into Christ, we become a new creation. Through Christ, we are reconciled to God. Our sins are taken care of. The world is reconciled to God. We must let the world know this message. “Be reconciled to God”. We are Christ’s ambassadors. As the risen Christ appeared to his disciples, we rejoice in the goodness of our God, passing on this goodness to others.
God’s goodness! God’s goodness appears among us when, whatever the problems, we deepen our faith, our hope and our trust in the God - the centre of our lives. God’s goodness appears among us, when we turn to God with thankful hearts, grateful for all that is beautiful. God’s goodness appears among us when we love the needy but especially when we show mercy.
Why did the prodigal son come home? What brought him back? Hunger, it seems. Though he had hit rock bottom, he remembered a better place. His father’s house! A place of goodness! There, he remembered, even the servants had more food than they wanted. A way home opened up. His father’s goodness shone forth. He could trust him.
This is only a parable. Back in real time Jesus’ goodness shone forth. “The tax collectors and sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus”. Jesus’ goodness shone forth; the goodness of God, the goodness of the Father. So what brings about this reversal, this change, in the lives of the tax collectors and sinners; in the life of the younger son? God’ goodness - this is what our hearts desire; what we long for! Ingrained in our souls, at baptism certainly, perhaps even at creation, is this longing for God. We like to play the role of the complaining Pharisee or the obtuse elder brother but the true Christian can never sustain it. Why? Because God’s goodness is always at work developing, deepening this desire for God.