What impresses me most in the Prodigal Son story is the waiting and waiting and waiting of the father. We may know persons who are waiting someone’s return—an estranged friend, a faithless spouse, an absent parent, a wayward child, a son on a tour of duty, a neighbor in the hospital. Like the prodigal father, we wait for their return. We place these persons in our heart. In some situations we might also offer an invitation—to a penance service, counseling session, retreat, a healing service, a night out, an inclusion in a group. And pray, “O God, I’ll keep fattening the calf if you keep looking out for the return.”

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