Saturday, January 30, 2010

He Came to Himself

It's the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. I've been reading some homilies on the subject, because I'm afraid I'll miss my own priest's sermon tomorrow because of illness.

One thing that impressed me about the story was the distance factor. The son was in a far country, when he realized what he needed to do. He was hungry and wasted, but he still needed to rise and go, to travel a long way, which must have been a struggle.

All of humanity is represented by the prodigal son, and most of us are still on the journey. Some of us have repented and are a bit farther on our way, but we are all clothed in our flesh, struggling with our sins, anticipating the day when we sit in the Kingdom and feast with our Father, enjoying the restoration of our full inheritance.

In the story, the son receives everything he had thrown away and lost. For now, we have the earnest of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God to help us continue. Every day I need to decide to take the next step on the way. But I know more than the son in the parable, who hoped for a corner of the pig shed. "...for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

I'm afraid I often act a bit nonchalant, as though I am at the gate or even in my Father's arms already. My initial coming to myself has to be followed up by a constant facing-up to the toil of the road. Maybe I have been sitting on the grassy shoulder wishing the trip weren't so long, wondering if maybe someone will arrive and carry me the rest of the way.

St. Herman of Alaska reminds me: "The true Christian is a warrior making his way through the regiments of the invisible enemy to his heavenly homeland."


Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Na perastika! Which, in Greek, means, "May it [the illness] pass! And quickly, too.

We are going to miss church on account of the SNOW. It'll be three more days before we will get to go anywhere.

Gumbo Lily said...

What good stuff you have shared with us. Thank you, I'll be pondering it tonight.


Anita said...

I enjoyed this very much.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I keep waiting for someone to carry me, too!

Did you get my e-mail about the book/s? If not, let me know and I'll resend or just post it as a comment.


Cathy said...

As I read this insightful post I was reminded of how we are pilgrims. Hebrews 11:13 says,"These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them far off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." As we traverse on this difficult journey His grace and mercy is surely there for us to help us continue on. It is for us "to look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."
Also, as a side note, there is a beautiful fresco painted by Ben Long of the Parable of the Prodigal in Montreat College.(North Carolina). It's outstanding if you ever have the chance to see it.

DebD said...

Your thoughts reminded me of the story of the turtoise and the hare. Sometimes we must be so much like the hare, thinking we're doing just fine but rather we're being thrown off the race.

I hope you are feeling better.

Michael said...

I'm so glad to have been able to read this. I was baptised on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son so the call to turn back to our Father each year is always a very personal one for me, and well needed this year.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.