The Prodigal Son
Jesus' parables teach us about a kingdom that overflows with love, that God's love is "over the top" for us. All God truly desires and wishes is that we return to His family, His flock, His fold - that we return to Him. This is a simple act, within ourselves, within our hearts. It doesn't require a great show of tribulation and repentance. It really doesn't require a great feast or celebration or show. But the joy that overflows in our hearts and really and truly teaches us about love comes inside, within us. It is something that illuminates us, fills us with the light Jesus has spoken of in Luke's Gospel so eloquently. It requires only that we be willing to reconsider, to "change our minds" (which is the literal meaning of the world for repentance, the Greek "metanoia"). Don't let anybody's rules or wrong judgment get in the way of God's love for you. Turn in your heart and be willing to open the door, to loose the bonds of whatever it is you cling to, and ask for a better direction, for "where to go." And be willing to reconsider whatever aspect of life you need to. To repent feels like losing a part of ourselves - but it is truly "coming to ourselves" as did the Prodigal Son. You find yourself where you truly belong, and where you can be led to know who you are and what you can become. The "shoulds" we cling to may get in the way of Christ's love and direction for us. Love is something endless and boundless, as infinite as God. Our finite perceptions cannot set limits on God.