THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON
“I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” ….. and yet the father says: “but we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.” (Luke Ch. 15)
Yes! God does welcome back the sinner, the “prodigal” – be it the younger one who fled from the father’s roof or the older who simply accepted this life as his due.
At times, I seem to have lived this parable in my life. In some darker moments, I failed to rest in my relationship with God, turning away, running away from his bounteous goodness. Turning my life around, I have told God that I feel totally unworthy of being God’s child.
I can daily feel unworthiness in the way I have acted, in how I related to others, in how little time and attention I have given to God. Daily, I can also allow the embrace of God’s love to heal me, to welcome me into a fuller relationship. I have become more aware during this Lenten season of various ways I may failed in my “resolutions” to do better next time…. And yet, “next time’ is not always “soon enough”; it is NOW that I am called to act, to allow myself to abide in God’s unfathomable love. Yes, “Next Time” is here and now – God is ever present in me, in my life – ready even to fulfill my least little wish!
On this journey towards Easter, I have begun to understand that God loves me unconditionally, that only a whisper of my desire, of my need, will receive a loving answer. This is totally amazing! Regardless of what I have done, or of what I have not done, God still loves me with an everlasting compassionate love. Try as I might, I cannot run away from this love. I might try to turn away, but God draws me ever back to our relationship. God waits only a tiny desire, a tiny word, and a tiny cry for help to respond immediately with love, peace and compassion.
True, these “Lenten tools” (Fasting, Prayer, Almsgiving) are also very useful, even necessary in my daily life throughout the year; but having focused on these more fully, I have begun to realize that more is asked of me.
Lord, as I continue this journey towards Easter and the Resurrection, help me to be openand receptive to the many gifts and graces you have for me. I rejoice that some others are on the same path with me, and thank you for the loving support you grant to me through them.Mary, continue to guide me towards your Son and remind me that I too am a beloved child of the Father. This I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.