Fr. Shawn P. Tunink

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Homily 81 – 4th Sunday of Lent

Coming to Our Senses

Today’s familiar gospel story of the prodigal son presents us with an important image of life. The first part of the story tells of the tragic movement of the son away from home and away from the love of his father. The second part concerns the beautiful story of repentance and the return home to the loving father’s welcome. Amongst the details of the story, there are many characters and moments that provide much for meditation. However, there is one key moment that perhaps we don’t think enough about; it is that moment when the son chooses to reverse his path and head home. What brings about this important change? St. Luke tells us simply, “Coming to his senses, he thought…”

The key for the prodigal son was being able to stop, realize how far away he was from where he needed to be, and then deciding to do something about it. What if he had never had this moment? Perhaps most of us are not so far away from God as the prodigal son found himself. Yet, if we’re honest, there are probably a least a few ways in which we have to admit that we’re not headed in the right direction. In order to discover these things that stand in the way of our relationship with God we need to do like the prodigal son; we need to take time to stop and realize where we’re at. To do this we need silence. We need to turn off the TV, our computer, cell phone, or iPod. We need to take time to stop, come to our senses, and think.

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