Day 40 – The Extravagant Homecoming Feast




From the moment Jesus' Heart was torn apart by the accusation of the Pharisees and scribes,

"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them"

(Luke 15:2)

which had also set the stage for our 40-Day Lenten Retreat, we have now come to the last scene. The Pharisees and scribes were also the lost sheep, which Jesus loved as well. Their pride and hardened hearts pierced the Heart of Jesus, who was Himself the icon and face of the Father to them. Piercing Jesus' heart is piercing the heart of God the Father.

Sins scatter, while the Father gathers. He wants to gather us in, into His House, into His Heart!

Our true identity as His adopted children was smeared by our sins. Jesus came to save us and free us from our disfiguration! Jesus came to show us the Heart of the Father towards the sinners, who represent ALL OF US, with no exception! We are all lost sheep. We are the lost son! We are all spiritually dead to different degrees! God does not only "welcome sinners and eat with them" as the Pharisees accused Jesus, but He also seeks and chases after us. He carries and embraces all of us…

In order to bring us back to life, He would do anything, including a complete GIFT OF SELF, unreserved, naked, on the Cross. He is a just God overpowered only by His mercy!

Fast forward to the "end", when these Pharisees and scribes successfully nailed Jesus to the Cross. And Jesus, who is the only BRIDGE between God and human, finally said His last word,

"It is finished"

(John 19:30)

before He expired. What was finished…when hearts were still hardened, and sins were still abound? How did Jesus feel when He knew that for generations to come, His total self-giving gift would not be appreciated, let alone accepted by those whom He loves most? What for? But "despair" wasn't the last word for Jesus. He has hope! And so must we! But His hope lies upon us. Jesus' work as a true human has indeed been completed. And now it is our turn! We are His extensions in the world!

We are not as helpless as many of us think. Although in this world, we recognize the suffering faces of Jesus everywhere —— injustice, persecutions, violence, wars… —— sin does not shy away from showing its ugly face, yet we are to be there to bring Jesus back into the picture! And during this pandemic, we are not simply waiting for the pandemic to go away. We should actively prepare for a whole new world, a new springtime!

We are to become a new bridge. We are to become Christ to one another!

The GATHERING Heart of the Father wants all of His children to be UNITED in spirit and in action! The Vine and the Branches (John 15:1-10), the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31), and the Holy Communion all symbolize the all-important UNITY that God desires! There is no division in the Father's House! So, we'd better reconcile with one another before we are admitted to Heaven for eternal peace! It is not too late, but we need to take actions now. Jesus has gone back to the Father to prepare for us many rooms, but whether those rooms will be taken eventually depends on us.

As Christians, we are entrusted with one Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:47-48) to bring as many people back home as possible. But we cannot do that alone! Jesus knew…

Jesus spent His whole three years of public ministry to institute the Church for us! It is meant to accompany us till the end of times. It is the boat that carries us to the Father's House.

Don't abandon the Church. It is Jesus' inheritance for us and is one of His greatest gifts for the world! Jesus gave us His Church because He knows human limitations and frailty so well. He knows we are too weak to go home alone on this earthly pilgrimage. He does not want us to be like the prodigal son going home by himself. It is too risky! We need companions. And most importantly, we need divine power, from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that REPENTANCE, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."

(Luke 24:46-49)

That promise, the power from on high, is the Holy Spirit. While Jesus is the BRIDGE to the FATHER'S HEART, the Holy Spirit can be seen as the SPRINGBOARD to give us power and guidance to do the Father's will.

We need to first REPENT and RETURN, and then to be baptized and REBORN in the Spirit, and then we should move on to the third stage, RECRUIT.

Today, we should move beyond the images of the younger son and the elder son.

We should move on to become the Father —— to become the Father's face for the world to see. Jesus invites us to extend the BELOVEDNESS to the world by following the NEW Commandment He has given us:

"I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

(John 13:34-35)

Jesus wants to continue to heal the wounds and sufferings of this world by extending His mighty hands through us.

And it is through loving others that we RECRUIT more Christ followers. This is the way for the Kingdom of God to be spread quickly on earth.

"God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them."

(Genesis 1:27)

We as CHILDREN OF GOD should lead everyone back to the ONE IMAGE that God created us in, no more separations, no more disfigurations. The day to REUNITE and REJOICE in the Father's House is at hand.

Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.” Then the celebration began.

(Luke 15:23-24)

God the Father is awaiting. Jesus the Bridegroom has prepared for us and is ready. Are you?


Do you see yourself as an image of Christ on earth, a new bridge as entrusted by Him to lead more people home?

Are you willing to LISTEN TO JESUS to abide in the Church, that is, the Body of Christ, while submitting yourself to the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

How do you plan to become an extension of Christ's LOVE on earth through which you can recruit more followers for Christ?


Dear Abba Father, thank you for granting me so many graces and inspirations during these forty days so that I can feel how attentive and extravagant Your love is for me. Please do not permit me to despise my given identity as Your Beloved Child, nor make You wait indefinitely for me. I do not want to offend You again with my sin or ignorance. From this day forward, I resolve to abide in You so as to have life more abundantly (John 10:10). Send forth Your Spirit, so that I will follow His prompts in order to do Your will and to fulfill Your mission for me. May Your mercy, Lord, be upon me; as I put my hope in You. (Psalm 33:22)

I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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