“How many hired hands at my father’s place have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving!” Luke 15:17
The “Parable of the Prodigal Son” is one of the most famous stories from the Bible. What is the meaning of prodigal? It can mean wasteful, extravagant, improvident, excessive, and reckless. We can say that this is the Parable of the Prodigal Father as well. The father in the story was sinned against by the younger son when the son asked for his share of the inheritance, in effect wishing his father dead. The father gave the son what he asked for and set him free. After the son “devoured his wealth with harlots”, he came back in remorse wishing only to be hired by the father. But no! The prodigal father welcomed him with a largesse of love and mercy.
There are those who believe that President Duterte is God’s anointed for the Philippines, and that is why we should not criticize him and just support him in what he is doing. But in the story of the prodigal son, we see that God allows us to choose, He gives us the freedom to do what we want, just as He gave Israel a King when they clamoured for one, in effect rejecting Him as King over them. Here in the Philippines, when President Duterte was a candidate, 16 million Filipinos chose him disregarding all the signs that he would not be a blessing to us. Even he said it, “Don’t elect me as President. I don’t want to kill people.”
Just as the father in the parable waited for his son to come back home (Luke 15:20), and was filled with compassion for him, so too our Father waits for each of us. He waits for our whole nation to realize our sins and frailties and our rebellion against Him. Just as the father in the story rejoiced, celebrated, and invited everyone to share in his excitement, our merciful Father will be over the top delighted if we see the light, the error of our choices and return to Him.