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Patriarch of Romania: “God’s merciful love is greater than His justice”

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania attended Sunday’s Divine Liturgy celebrated in Saint George Chapel of the Patriarchal Residence. In his homily, the Patriarch stressed that “God’s merciful love is greater than His justice”.

The Patriarch explained the symbolism of the Parable of the Return of the Prodigal Son, pointing out that “this parable is an image of the Mystery of repentance, the Mystery of confession or reconciliation of man with God”.

“The parable of the prodigal son shows the essence of divine love, the essence of the humble and merciful parental love that Jesus Christ reveals, knowing the Heavenly Father, He being the eternal Son of the Heavenly Father, precisely in order to show the world the humble and merciful love of the Most Holy Trinity”.

In this parable, the Gospel presents a father with two sons, the younger of whom wants to experience freedom by alienating himself from his father’s house and demands his rightful share of the estate.

The father grants the younger son’s request, demonstrating that “God respects man’s freedom, refraining from imposing His will upon him.”

The distant land in which the young man has spent the fortune “symboliwes freedom in its most distorted sense—a place of alienation and separation from God, the Father’s house. It is a place of undefined, so-called freedom, where man expresses himself not only through his thoughts but predominantly through his feelings,” explained Patriarch Daniel.

After his fortune was squandered, the country where the young man spent his time was hit by a great famine, which led him to work as a pig herder, a demeaning job at the time.

The poverty in which he lived led the prodigal son to “come to his senses. In essence, the life of sin drove him to madness; he squandered everything senselessly, solely for the satisfaction of his physical desires. He has now reached the lowest point of his existence”.