Prayer: O Father, embrace me when I return to you.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)
The father’s response is not a model for earthly fathers to follow. It is, rather, how the heavenly father responds to our repentance. The son is reduced to the lowest degree of degradation. He is in contact with unclean animals and unable to keep the Sabbath. Having already received his legal inheritance, the son had no further claim on his father. The father’s actions are unusual and undignified. He runs and embraces the Prodigal.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Coming to his senses, the son thought, “The servants in my father’s house have bread. Here, I am dying from hunger. I will go back and say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and you. I am not worthy to be called your son. Make me a hired servant.”
When the father saw him a long way off, he was moved to compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. The father said to his servants, “Put the finest robe on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Get the fatted calf and kill it. Let us eat and rejoice. My son was dead and has come to life again. He was lost and is found.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The son does not really repent of his sins. He just sees that he could do better in his father’s house.
- He realizes that he has sinned against his father and against God. This is the absolute minimum.
- The father needs no words of repentance. He has already made the decision to welcome him back.
- The father has one thought. He must reestablish the son to his former status.
- The father explains to his servants that his actions flow from his feelings.
- “My son was dead and has come to life. He was lost and has been found.”
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O God, my reasons to return to you are selfish. You overlook all that.
- You want me back. That fills me with hope.
- I walk to you but you run to me.
- I try to speak, but you do not need my words.
- I want to work. You want to celebrate.
- It is as if I have never left. May I never walk out on you again!
- You bestow a fullness. You hold nothing back. Your love for me never changes.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will not delay my return. God’s mercy calls me to return.
- I will not allow fear to hold me back. God will run to me.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
“My son was dead and has come back to life.”