Today’s Gospel of the prodigal son is universally accepted as one of the greatest parables. It is such a rich story that could and should be explored from many angles but here I want to focus on one line that sometimes is lost. When down on his luck amongst the swine and the swill it says “he came to his senses”. He had that moment of self-realization that he had made a complete ham fist of everything. He then becomes contrite but he still schemes out his apology to try and get himself back into his Father’s favors. Rather like us when we have to go andapologize for having upset someone, we rehearse our apology! But note the Father does not even give the boy chance to say his piece formally, rather the Father ignores his apology and just embraces his boy praising God that his boy once lost/dead is now found/alive.
This is how it is if we turn to God. He is waiting to embrace us. The vulnerable arms of Christ outstretched on the Cross desire to enfold us. But we must “come to our senses”. We really must recognize not merely our sins (the psalmist tells us “they are always before me”) but more importantly our need of God’s merciful and forgiving grace to overcome our faults and failings.
Use the rest of Lent to come to your senses and come to Christ.
God bless you, your families, and the week ahead.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ