As we enter into the Lenten season, our thoughts and prayers focus on seeking forgiveness and returning to God. In the Orthodox Church, we have a period called the Triodion which is three weeks of parables reminding us to pray humbly, return to God, and help and serve others. These actions, in essence, mean we are serving Christ, our Lord. The next week in the church is focused on forgiveness which is our Word of the Month.
The parable that touches me the most is the parable of the Prodigal Son found in the Gospel of Luke 15:11-32. It is also known as “The Lost Son” or the “The Loving Father.”
In this parable, the younger son takes his share of the inheritance and goes away. He is tired of the mundane life of working on the farm and actually is just tired of obeying his father and wants his freedom. After he squanders his money, he gets a job feeding the pigs and realizes he needs to go back to the father in hopes of only becoming one of his servants. The most beautiful visual is of the father. When he sees his son from far away, he begins to run towards him and he embraces him, showing his love and excitement for the son's return home. He puts a ring on his finger, gives him a coat, and throws a huge party. This is why I like to call the parable “The Loving Father.” Our Father, our Lord, is also in heaven waiting for us to return to him so he can embrace us, love us, and ultimately, forgive us.
In John 1:9 it says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I pray we reach down deep into our hearts and seek to forgive others that may have wronged us. May we choose to pray humbly and ask God to forgive us.