Luke 15:11-20


Quote from The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen:

A few years ago I was very concretely confronted with the choice: to return or not to return. A friendship that at first seemed promising and life-giving gradually pulled me farther and farther away from home until I found myself completely obsessed by it. In a spiritual sense, I found myself squandering all I had been given by my father to keep the friendship alive. I couldn’t pray any longer. I had lost interest in my work and found it increasingly hard to pay attention to other people’s concerns. As much as I realized how self-destructive my thoughts and actions were, I kept being drawn by my love-hungry heart to deceptive ways of gaining a sense of self-worth. Then when finally the friendship broke down completely, I had to choose between destroying myself or trusting that the love I was looking for did, in fact, exist…. back home. A voice, weak as it seemed, whispered that no human being, would ever be able to give me the love I craved, and no friendship, no intimate relationship, no community would ever be able to satisfy the deepest needs of my wayward heart…. There in my solitude I started to walk home slowly and hesitantly, hearing ever more clearly the voice that says “you are my beloved…”  This painful, yet hopeful, experience brought me to the core of the spiritual struggle for the right choice. God says “I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then so that you… may live in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying His voice, holding fast to him.” Indeed, it is a question of life or death. Do we accept the rejection of the world that imprisons us, or do we claim the freedom of the children of God? We must choose.