Josh 5: 9, 10-12; Cor 5: 17-21; Luke 15: 1-3,
In this parable the younger son squanders everything. We hear: “He found himself in dire need” once he spends his inheritance. Feeling dire need brings him to his senses. He had enjoyed the things of the world, and now he is empty. He remembers who he is, the son of a father. This father is an image of God.
You and I, too, can forget that we belong to God. We can lose our way, wanting to possess the things of the world. The younger son comes to recognize his mistake. He re-“turns” to the father. “Coming to his senses, the young man said, ‘I shall get up and go to my father.’” And the father runs out to meet him.
When we wander away and get lost in the world, God is thrilled to see us coming back home. Jesus is presenting in the father a symbol of his Father’s love and reconciliation of which Paul speaks. But notice the person must make the first steps: he becomes aware of his mistake, he decides to return and then he returns. The lavish God is always waiting. That’s what the Sacrament of Penance is for.
Today the lighter color, the altar with candles and flowers all give a preview of our coming Easter banquet. The lavish love of God awaits us. All we need do is arise and return to the Father’s house.