Lent is for Coming Home
"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." Luke 15:18-19
This may be a familiar story to you: the parable of the Prodigal Son. It's a story of a young man who proudly wandered away from home to follow his own path.
This story is not at all unlike our own. In fact, one of the greatest figures in the history and life of the Church, Saint Augustine, saw in the "Prodigal Son" the life of ever single human being under the sun.
Because what the young son learned, what Augustine himself learned, and what we all must learn, is that "going our own way" is not exactly what God has in store. Instead, and especially in the season of Lent, we learn that God knows us much better than we know ourselves, and has so much more in store for us than we could plan for ourselves.
Lent is a time set apart in the year of our Church for turning inward, and for recognizing our true home. Lent is for seeing in ourselves a hope and a desire for something we could never fulfill on our own. Lent is for recognizing that we are creatures in need of our Creator.
Most of all, Lent is for recognizing that Creator in the arms of Jesus Christ, who, like the father who welcomes his prodigal son home with open arms, waits for us with his own arms stretched wide and ready to receive us. Lent is about recognizing our need for God, and our need to continually come home to the arms and heart of the God who loves us.
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. ... "This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!" And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:20,24