“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. Luke 15:17-20
The following is a selected passage from a wonderful book by Charles Péguy called “The Portal of the Mystery of Hope.” Written in 1912, its poetic theme is the far-reaching influence of Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son.
Among all the three parables of hope,
the parable of the lost sheep;
the parable of the lost coin;
and the parable of the lost child;
though each of them, for nineteen hundred years, have held a special place in the heart of Christians.
Though they are each specially loved,
it is the third parable of hope that advances us,
as if more personal than all the others,
as if answering to a deeper inner voice.
It has awakened in the heart a certain point of resonance
A special resonance.
A man had two sons.
It’s the word of Jesus that has had the greatest effect
On the world.
That has found the deepest resonance
In the world and in humankind.
In the heart of us all.
A man had two sons. Of all of God’s parables
This one has awakened the deepest echo.
The most ancient echo.
The freshest echo.
She is the one who teaches that all is not lost
It is not God’s will
That a single one of these little ones should perish.
When someone turns away, as he buries himself in lost countries, as he loses
As he tosses along the way his most precious goods,
His most sacred possessions,
even the word of God, his purest treasure,
there is one word of God that he does not throw away.
Because she’s a word that follows him
Into the most extreme estrangements.
There’s no need to look after her, and to carry her.
For it is she who looks after you.
It’s she who follows, she’s a word that stays with you, a treasure that
She has delivered a challenge to the one who is lost.
‘Listen,’ she has told him, ‘Wherever you go, I’ll follow.
You’ll see. For without me you will have no peace.’
And it’s true, and he knows it. And ultimately he loves that this is true,
Because at the very bottom of his heart, at the bottom of his shame
he is happy to not have peace. It’s kind of
He knows he will not be forgotten by God.