In many ways, feelings and emotions mold our personalities.
They mark our actions and reactions.
They influence much of what we live, for better or for worse.
Today’s gospel is filled with emotions (Luke 15:1-3,11-32):
The eagerness of sinners to hear Jesus.
The frustration of the Pharisees seeing them at the table.
The desire for freedom of the younger son.
The compassion and generosity of the father.
The anger of the jealous brother.
In this whole panorama describing human attitudes, there is one verse that stands out.
It refers to the young man and says:
“He came to himself” (v.17).
And this has been quite a long journey indeed!
He has gone through a whole landscape of feelings.
His desire for freedom, his enjoyment of life’s pleasures,
his hunger and need, the awareness of what he has lost,
his regret, his planning to return home,
the preparation of his ‘confession’ to his father,
and… finally setting on the road…
with, probably, more than a little bitterness.
This was the l o n g process of ‘coming to himself’…
And, strangely enough, it had to take place before he could come to his father!
This may be the experience we need to make in this period of Lent:
We have to come to ourselves.
We have to become aware of what lies deep within us –
become aware and acknowledge what makes us act and react as we do.
Then, with all that ‘inhabits’ the depths of our being,
we will be able to set on the way to return to our Father.
This may involve a long pilgrimage but the Spirit can accompany us every step of the way…
If we allow him to do so…
And another reflection, on a different theme, is available in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/4e-dimanche-du-careme-annee-c-2022/
Source: Images: Free Bible Images