We see in the gospel the true depiction of that painting and we can all relate to the message of the readings today. The older brother’s plight is not uncommon. We may even know how he feels because, at times, we have felt like him. But we can also see ourselves in the younger brother's eyes - we went away, further from our father's house. Whichever situation we can relate to in the gospel reading, the message is absolutely clear. Our God is rich in mercy.
When and how we ask for forgiveness to return to our God is our choice. All we know is that when we make that choice, our Father is the first to forgive us, the first to welcome us home, and the first to restore our place in God's family. The only catch is that we need to take that first step towards forgiveness.
Today, let us examine ourselves whether we are the younger or the older brother in the gospel. Let us make that first step to ask for God's mercy to return to Him. We know that once we decide to ask forgiveness from our God, the Lord will run to us, and do the rest.