This Sunday’s Gospel is one of my absolute, all-time favorites. I think of it as the Good News in a nutshell. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, found in Luke 15: 11-32, is such a powerful story. I really hope that you will read it between now and Sunday. It is a gift that keeps on giving year after year. It fact, we receive different gifts from the same parable, depending upon what is going on in our lives over the years.
The story line is familiar to most of us. The younger son asks his father for his inheritance ahead of time, goes to a foreign land, and squanders it. He returns home penniless. You would think that his father would be angry, but instead has a very different response.
“...But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him…the father said to the slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe-the best one- and put it on him, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to celebrate…"
Imagine yourself as the returning son between now and Sunday. Picture yourself filled with shame and remorse, returning home, expecting to be humiliated and scorned, and seeing Jesus running out to meet you and being overcome with joy at the very sight of you.
That’s what Lent is about. It’s about coming home- coming home to God, coming home to our true selves. It’s about reconciliation.
I look forward to experiencing this story together this Sunday.