“While 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: 1-3, 11-32
When I see a young parent cradling an infant, I always smile. I’ll never forget those early days of motherhood, especially the way it felt to kiss the faces of my three little children. Their chubby cheeks were as soft as marshmallows and all these years later I can still hear their giggles. “Do you know how much I love you?” I would gush. Boundless beauty was packed into their smallness. Each of them, in their own diminutive way, brought so much joy to our family.
Now that my kids are in their twenties, I still kiss them on the cheek when they visit. They always roll their eyes, but I want them to know that my love is unchangeable. “Sorry…” I tell them. “I’m here for the long haul!”
Maybe that’s the way the father felt in today’s reading. After his young son spent months partying and squandering his inheritance, the wayward son returned to his father’s house, remorseful. At best, the reunion should’ve been awkward. The sins of the son had dishonored the family in so many ways. But when his father caught sight of him something amazing happened. He ran to his son and kissed him! I love this image—a dad who simply can’t un-love his son. God never condemns us.
We all have sins that we aren’t proud of. But today’s reading reminds us that we can always come home to the mercy of God. No matter what we’ve done, Our Father waits for our return.
Like the prodigal son, we can never be un-loved by God!