Friday of the Second Week of Lent
Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 and Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
The Father Comes Out
I’ve always been pretty straight laced. No partying, no drugs, no wild side. Maybe in part because my father was city attorney and judge thereafter and I had a healthy fear of disappointing him and furthermore a deep respect for the law. I saw how difficult his job was, especially as judge, trying to determine justice, having to choose, for example between two unfit parents in matters of custody. I admired the men and women police officers who came to our house in the middle of the night to get warrants signed. I was aware of how calmly and reasonably they spoke with my father about the tumultuous, tragic, or dangerous situations they were attending to, often putting themselves at risk.
And maybe that’s why I’ve always had a soft spot for the prodigal’s reliable older brother. He worked hard, he served faithfully to build up the father’s enterprise. He was dependable and obedient. When he hears the party going on inside, he’s angry at the injustice, the seeming lack of consequences for the prodigal partier. And he refuses to go in.
Notice then that the father comes out. Just as he came out to greet the returning prodigal, running to him in compassion, the father comes out again to meet the older son offering care and a full share of his inheritance. The father comes out to say: “All that is mine is yours.”
The prophet Micah says the Lord “delights to show mercy.” When I do not find mercy a joy, I know I have work to do. I pray the Father will come to meet me too and remind me “we must celebrate and rejoice” when he who was lost, is found. I pray for the grace to, where I am able and called upon to do so, be liberal with mercy, and share in the Lord’s delight.
Liz Kelly, Managing Editor
Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture