(ONLY VIDEO) During the general audience the Pope explained the parable of the prodigal son. He said the logic of God and men is not the same. The young son of the parable thinks he will be punished for his sins, while the older brother believes he will receive a reward for good behavior. "The logic of God's mercy knows no rewards or punishments," he said, "but welcomes everyone who needs mercy and forgiveness, so all will be brothers again."
SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS
"Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now turn to Jesus’ parable of the merciful father who welcomes back his prodigal son with unconditional love and forgiveness.
Jesus wishes to teach us that we are children of God not because of any merits of our own but because of the infinite love of our heavenly Father.
How often do we need to be reminded of God’s unchanging love and ready forgiveness, lest we lose heart when we ourselves or our dear ones go astray! The parable speaks not only of the prodigal son, but also of his older brother, who must also learn to accept the father’s mercy, which transcends both reward and punishment.
By calling for a feast of thanksgiving, the father is really asking each son to share his joy by recognizing the other as a brother. The parable ends without our knowing how the older brother responds to this invitation. Jesus in effect is challenging each of us to think about how we respond to God’s invitation, to open our hearts to his reconciling love and to become "merciful like the Father”.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Ireland, Denmark, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Seychelles and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Lord, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!”