Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Sat., March 13, 2010
But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was
filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him
and kissed him. Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have
sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy
to be called your son.' But the father said to his slaves,
'Quickly, bring out a robe--the best one--and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the
fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son
of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!
Luke 15 [ for Lent IV RCL]
This story is at the core of human need and desire. Think of all the despair, all the sense of aloneness, all the pain of rejection, all the feeling of self-loathing that lies at the heart of this reaching out for forgiveness and acceptance and renewal and given a new opportunity to be happy and to make a change of heart.
We humans are so capable of hideous, destructive, self-destructive, mean, selfish acts. And yet, deep within lies a vision of integrity and of greatness. Where does it come from? It comes from the core of our being. We know how capable of indifference and cruelty we are, individually and as a race. And yet, and yet – we have also seen deep compassion and kindness. Only a few deeply warped souls have believed that contentment and self-respect will come from a life lived in the false embrace of abandoning Love.
And so we have told ourselves this story of the rejecting Child and of the wildly Loving Father. Because we need to know that there is always a path back. The story arises out of the core of our Self that is deeper than Death and Pain. We are made for Life. Or, as Archbishop Tutu said, ”We are made for Good”.
What is plain is this, intended or unintended: Each one of us is God. And when we are far in the distant land of separation, hungry for love and affirmation and restoration, victim of our own choices for UnLove, we must rush to enfold ourselves in Divine Forgiveness, clothe ourselves in the garments of rejoicing and, having been restored to our True Self, never withhold it from any other.
The Elder Brother is blind to the gift of New Life and a new heart which lies at the heart of our conception of God. That we can hold this vision of “God” above all others as the foundation for Life is an astounding witness to our potential greatness.