Saturday 6 March 2021

He goes out of his way to meet you


‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

LUKE 15:20-24


When I was a Youth Chaplain, I met with and worked with many young people. As a priest and youth pastor, one was called to be, amongst many other things, a role model and inspiration to the young – and yet the reverse more often occurred as I constantly found myself looking up to so many young people who passionately and bravely followed Christ, and made commitments which were counter cultural, inspiring me.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, I continue to be inspired by those who are so much older than me. Those who, throughout their lives, have been constant in their commitment to Christ and, although not being able to do what they once could, continue to be faithful in all that they are still able to do. For some, attending Mass each week is a physical struggle for them – but still they come.

And then there are those who, for many different reasons, may have wandered away from the church and, then, make the sometimes difficult step to return. How will they be welcomed, they wonder. Will they be embraced? The parable of the prodigal son gives a beautiful image of the father going out to meet him on his return. He clothes him with finery, gives him a place of honour, celebrates his return. So, if you’ve been away for some time, felt that you were such a long way off, lost, abroad and distant – for whatever reason – remember that, if and when you return, God goes out of his way to meet you. He is waiting for you, and waiting to rejoice!


God our Father, help us to remain faithful to you, and to know that, however far away from you we feel we are, you come out to meet us. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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