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Rome Reports

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Unscripted anecdote told by Pope Francis on the Prodigal Son to Cyprus' Catholics

While meeting with the Catholic community in Cyprus, Pope Francis told an anecdote to illustrate God's mercy:

When I read the Parable of the Prodigal Son: the elder brother was a strict judge, but the father was merciful, the image of the Father who always forgives, in fact, who is always waiting to forgive!

Last year a group of young people who perform pop music shows wanted to put on the parable of the prodigal son, sung in pop music and the dialogues were... beautiful! But the most beautiful thing is the final discussion, when the prodigal son goes to a friend and says: "I can't go on like this. I want to go home, but I'm afraid that Dad will close the door in my face, and kick me out. I'm so afraid and I don't know what to do." - "But your dad is good!" - "Yeah, but you know...my brother's there, making him resentful." Toward the end of that pop opera about the prodigal son, the friend says to him, "Do one thing: write to your dad and tell him that you want to come back but you're afraid he won't welcome you back. Tell your dad that if he wants to welcome you well, he should put a handkerchief on the highest window in the house, so that your father can tell you beforehand whether he will welcome you well or throw you out." That act closes.

In the other act, the son is on his way to his father's house. And when he's on his way, he turns around, and you see his father's house: it was full of white handkerchiefs! Full! This is God for us. This is God for us. He doesn't get tired of forgiving. And when the son begins to speak, "Ah, sir, I have done..." - "Hush," he shuts his mouth.