We often hear homilies and commentaries on this moving and very important parable from Jesus on the Prodigal Son which, especially in this Year of Mercy, pointing at us individually to change and go back home to the heavenly embrace of the Father via confession, and then we can make a fresh start in our lives. Very true and important advice to us all.
But we don't ever hear that not only individuals are addressed in this powerful parable but whole nations. It is quite clear, if you study history, that civilised societies decay and eventually collapse with terrible suffering inflicted on all of those concerned. Such situations are caused by the turning away from God, moral perversion, corruption and an overwhelming desire to seek one's own good and especially power through acquisition of money, and they become addicted to this false well-being which eventually leads to debt, discouragement and fear.
Today the world, in particular the West, through the mistaken belief that it can borrow itself out of trouble and, through science and technology, can do without God, has decided to formulate and follow its own natural defined laws, claiming evil to be good and vice versa and has squandered the graces built up over centuries of Christianity so that the pot is now virtually empty. On top of this there is a multi-trillion debt mountain never experienced before in the history of the world. When faced with this awesome approaching tsunami, our leaders', and indeed people's, only reaction is “more of the same”. So the world brings on itself the horrible suffering that clearly awaits us all, when we will be most fortunate to find any husks of swine we could eat. We see nations disappearing one after the other into the whirlpool of the abyss of spiritual desolation and despair.
The consequences of this massive turning away from God (any god), which is unprecedented in the history of the world has yet to begin to be played out. We see the early signs but these are rapidly smothered by the media, so that God's warnings, using nature, disasters and economic instability, are smothered by the climate change mantra or soothing words from scientists, economists or politicians. Without God, man is rendered powerless to achieve any lasting good and is doomed to self-degeneration in all aspects of life.
It is all there quite clear to see: convert back to God or spiritually perish. It is perhaps too late to stop the consequences of Western debauchery, but they might just be shortened if enough of us reject the world and return to our Heavenly Father who will welcome each one of those who return with great joy, running to embrace them. The world of today will, fortunately, not exist in its present deformed state tomorrow: it is just not sustainable. Who will listen to our Father's warnings by rejecting this world with all of its spiritually poisonous possessions that will one day go back to whence they came: mere dust, including silica sand.