Sunday of the Prodigal Son, Tone 1; Our Venerable Father Ephrem the Syrian (373)
1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Luke 15:11-32
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Today is the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and in just two weeks we will begin the Great Lent. We are reminded today of who we are: beloved children of God who need to come to our senses and return to our loving, forgiving Father. No matter what we have done, no matter how we have diminished ourselves, no matter how broken we have made our relationship with God, He patiently awaits our return, runs to greet us, and welcomes us back into His family with joy and celebration.
Repentance is not about getting God to change His mind about us; instead, it is about us changing our minds and lives in order to return to God. No amount of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will alter anything about the Lord; but these tools are useful in helping us see the truth about our sinfulness and in opening our lives to the mercy which Jesus Christ always extends to repentant sinners.
Let us pray today this simple prayer, “It is me, O Lord. I am the Prodigal. Grant me also a true spirit of repentance. Make me your true child who accepts responsibility for my failings, and grant me the courage to face you and say, “Forgive me, for I have sinned”. Grant that by my reception today of your Holy Mysteries, my repentance will be made perfect, and my reconciliation complete.”