When he came to himself ... they began to celebrate.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And 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 servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
This Act II of the parable of the Prodigal son (see yesterday's post for Act I) and the state of the young boy is changing as he begins to think of his father. What a compelling image he gives us as he rehearses words of brokenness, repentance and humility. Thoughts of shame embrace him as he considers what he has done to his father and the awful way that he has acted. His entitled and hedonistic thinking is long gone. Such is the state of one who repents.
And yet he was clueless concerning how his father would react to his return home. Does not your heart soar as the father takes off running towards his son? I am brought to tears just thinking about the love that this father had for his son. As both a son and a father I can so relate. Can you not see the ring and the robe being placed on the son? Can you not smell the roasting of the calf? Such is the image of a soul who was once dead and is now alive towards God.
No one is like you Father. Words are inadequate to describe the love that you have for us. We praise you.