From the Word of the Day
When 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: 20-21)
Along the centuries, this Word of Jesus has been told, commented, represented in art, and has moved women and men in the whole world, above all in those who had been far from home. The parable is an exaltation, a defense of God’s mercy toward sinners. It is a hymn of joy that celebrates the happiness of those who have found what they lost.
“A man had two sons”. This is how the story begins; it is the story of always. “The younger son said to the father”. Here is a young man who manifests an attitude that is very frequent today because he says to the father, “give me the share of your estate that should come to me”. It is the sin of pretending to be self-sufficient. What strikes us in this first part of the text is the silence of the father. He is a Father respectful of your freedom, who annuls himself in the face of your choice. The story continues by placing the son at the center with his dramatic experience that leads him to decide to return to the father, in fear and shame. But ‘when he was still far off…”his father sees him. To make us understand better, the evangelist uses two verbs, verbs of love.
However far he is, the Father always sees him. There is no obscurity or darkness that can take him from his sight. The eye is the organ of the heart, bringing it the object of its desire. The look of God toward the sinner is tender and benevolent like that of a mother toward her sick child; he was filled with compassion. This is the verb that defines the figure of the father. “Filled with compassion” means, “he was deeply moved”. Literally, it says, ‘he was struck in his entrails’. Thus, Luke attributes to this father, the sentiments of a mother.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will kneel at the feet of the Father and I will thank Him for the love with which he waits for me when I am far from home.
Dear Father, thank You for loving me so much!
The Voice of St. Augustine in his Confessions
Run, I will hold you up (Isaiah 46:4); and I will lead you to the finish line, and there, I will still hold you up.