March 18, 2017
While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:11-32)
In today’s Gospel we hear the parable of the Prodigal Son. The parable is included annually in the readings of the Lenten season. It is a beautiful story of forgiveness that sends us the message that there is nothing we could ever do that would cause God to turn away from us. We are never “too far gone.”
It is important to the story that the father ran to his son when he returned home. Consider how hurt the father must have been. One of his sons had said to him, “Give me my inheritance now so I can get out of here.” (Paraphrased, of course). His inheritance – he had basically told his father, “I wish you were dead now so I could have my money.”
Eventually, the son realized that he must go to his father and seek forgiveness if he was to survive. The father had every reason to reject him. He not only didn’t reject the son, he ran to embrace him. He didn’t walk; he didn’t meet him halfway; he didn’t send a servant out to greet him. He ran to his son and embraced him.
No matter what you have said or done, you are not too far gone. No matter how long it has been since you have turned to God, it is not too late.
When you make the decision to seek forgiveness, God will run to you, embrace you, and forgive you.