This is a story of hope for all of us. Maybe you identify with the younger son: abusing, squandering, or taking for granted the resources you’ve been given – not just material resources, but also resources like people who have cared for and supported you; resources like the values that have been instilled in you. Or maybe you are more like the older son: dutiful, responsible, and just a little resentful.
Either way, there is promise in this story. God is giver of gifts and does so with joy and generosity. God waits patiently and celebrates when we return and when we confess with honesty and humility. At the same time, God is a steady source of stability, a constant presence, and a proud parent.
Today, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for all the ways God welcomes you with love – both when you’ve wandered off and when you’ve remained a reliable child.