SATURDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
Show us wonderful signs.
My mother is a firm believer in white birds. For her, the spotting of a white bird has marked many significant decisions and life events. (If her logic holds true, then the white bird I saw this week must mean something big is headed my way.) Whether it be a white bird or the way the ocean hugs the shore, the smile of a stranger or the peaceful stillness of silence, signs of God’s love abound. The question is whether or not we notice them.
In today’s gospel, the way the father “ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him” and welcomed him home with celebration was a sign of his love and forgiveness for his younger son. The older son needed more help seeing it, but the father’s actions were a sign to him too – a sign of mercy and compassion and a call to rejoice and celebrate.
All too easily I fall into complacency with my own relationship with God. I, like the older son in today’s gospel, take for granted that I am “here with [my Father] always.” If I’m not careful, the habituality of routine, whether good or bad, weakens my awareness. The extraordinary closeness of God becomes ordinary to me, and I unknowingly close myself off to the many wonderful signs God sends us.
Signs of God’s kindness and compassion, mercy and forgiveness greet us daily and invite us to be signs of that unconditional love in return. Just as the father pleaded with the older son to enter the house and join in the celebration, we are called to be extensions of God’s wonderful signs. Let us catch sight of them, run to and embrace them, and celebrate them as the father sees and responds to his returning son.
This Lent, may we not only be aware of God’s wonderful signs but also be those signs ourselves. May we see the signs in our everyday, that we too may understand our place at the larger table and see cause for celebration.
Anne Milne is a senior studying public health, a CLC facilitator, and the sacristan for the Campus Ministry masses.