Today we see our Father's mercy, His distinctive feature in Heaven, while gazing at an orphan Mankind —orphan because forgetful— which does not know it is a child of God. Cronin speaks of a son that left home, squandered all his money, his health, the family honor... was finally imprisoned. Shortly before being freed, he wrote to his home: if he was forgiven, they should hang a white handkerchief in the apple tree, next to the railway. If he could spot it, he would return home; otherwise, he would never come back... The day of his freedom, while arriving home, he didn't dare to look... Would there be a handkerchief? «Open your eyes!... look!», a friend tells him. And he remained speechless: on the apple tree there was not a single white handkerchief... there were hundreds of them; it was full of white handkerchiefs.
It reminds us of the Rembrandt's painting where it can be seen the son that comes back, destitute and famished, who is hugged by an old man, with two different hands: one, from the father that holds him tight; the other, from the mother, sweet and tender, that caresses him. God is Father and Mother...
«Father, I have sinned» (Lk 15:21), we wish to say it too, and feel God embrace in the Sacrament of Confession, while participating in the Eucharistic feast: «We shall celebrate and have a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found» (Lk 15:23-24). Thus, since «God is waiting for us —each and every day!— like that father of the parable was waiting for his prodigal son» (Saint Josemaria), let's keep on marching in with Jesus to the encounter with the Father, where all becomes clear: «The mystery of man can only be solved through the mystery of the Incarnated Word» (II Vatican Council).
The protagonist is always the Father. Let's beg the desert of Lent to take us to internalize this appeal to participate in the divine compassion, as life is nothing but gradually returning to the Father.