Today’s gospel from Luke invites us to examine family life.
Part of us understands the young son who desires to break away from his tradition to discover his own voice, his budding gifts, and his desire to put his own spin on his life in the world. Many of us have experienced these years of struggle growing up.
There is also a piece of our hearts that feel the deep resentment of the older son. Many of us can also relate to him because we have stood next to those we love and so often feel invisible to our parents or our spouse or our children. The older son’s fidelity becomes jagged with tension, resentment and bitterness. Faithfulness reveals ongoing turmoil. Life is not easy; it is not black and white.
The father awakens my heart today. He stood along the road and looked ahead, waiting for this son’s return. The father’s posture, his attitude, and his heart all took the long view. From the long view, the son and the father were united. Mercy found a home in each of them. Love became deeper and more meaningful, mending time and hurt.
Today would have been my own father’s 100 birthday. I am amazed how time heals and offers perspective. Time slips away in the moment but the long view invites beauty and care.
Today, how do you deal with your family conflicts? Is it possible to look toward the long view of life? Can the hurts settle and your heart become quiet? Is it possible today to run toward love for all who most need you?
We are in the long view of God. He waits for us so dearly.