The Parable of the Prodigal Son, this week’s gospel text, is perhaps the most beloved story of forgiveness we know.
The Prodigal son fled with his inheritance, where he was free from home. He uses his freedom to squander his birthright in “dissolute living.” He’s in a far country when he “comes to himself” and wants to return home.
“But while he was still far off,” we are told, “his father saw him.” The father ran down the road to greet him and welcome him home. His action is indeed radical grace and forgiveness.
During our Lenten pilgrimage, we all have the outstanding opportunity of “coming to ourselves,” and deciding to return home. We trust that while we’re still at a distance, God runs to greet us, welcoming us home, and celebrating our belovedness. You and I find our home because of grace. That grace-filled life can be ours week by week at Bethesda-by-the-Sea.
Each of us can be a vessel of this grace and forgiveness.