Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent. 

“‘My son, you are with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

In today’s gospel we hear the story of the prodigal son who, after realizing the error of his ways, is received lovingly back into the arms of his father.

So too do we receive the merciful embrace of God our Father – Who we hear echoed in the daily psalm as the Lord who “is kind and merciful.”

We as Christians can (and should!) rejoice in the unlimited mercy offered to us by God.

But we also remember that, before we receive His mercy, we must first do as the prodigal son did—realizing the ways in which we have left our Father’s house, and turning back towards Him.

Just as the son was still a long way off when the father rushed out to embrace him, we need only take that first step back towards God to receive his mercy. But the first step is often the hardest.

Lord, please grant us the wisdom to realize when we have ventured from you and the courage to turn back, taking the first step towards your loving mercy.

 

Mitch Boersma is chief operating officer at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC, associate editor of The Stream, and senior fellow of Catholic Voices USA.