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STEP26: Back Home

Father, I have sinned, help me find my way
Remember not my sins,just let me hear You say

I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand
Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.

Father, I have turned my back and walked away
Depended on my strength and lived life my own way

I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand
Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.

Father, I have closed my heart to those in need
Thought only of myself, a victim of my greed

I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand
Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.

Father I’ve returned, I’m home with You to stay 
Standing by Your door knowing that You’ll say

I forgive you, I love you. You are Mine, take My hand
Go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.

The above hymn summarizes the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). Three things we learn from the said parable are the following:

  • The Gift of Remembering - Whatever happens in our lives, we must remember our true identity: we are children of God!
  • God's Compassion - Nothing can be more straightforward than this: Tayo na ang nagkasala, Siya pa rin ang nakikipagbati. We were the ones who offended Him, yet it was still Him who made the initiative to reconcile Himself with us. He sent Jesus to die for us, save us from our sins, that we may be with Him again. 
  • Restoration - You don't need to explain yourself to God. Just go back to Him and He will not only forgive you, He will bring back your dignity as His precious child. Nothing you confess can make Him love you less. He loves you that much. 
If we don't see ourselves as the prodigal son, then we can be the older brother - a self-righteous individual who thinks he's superior just because he did not disobey the Father. 

If you think you have done nothing wrong, then this story is not for you. Because this story is about sinners who have gone astray, but found their way back to the Father. 

God was, is, and will always be there. He is just waiting for us to return to Him. 

Fr. Ben Guevarra, the current parish priest of St. Jerome Parish in Morong, wrote a beautiful song about this equally beautiful story. Since the first time I heard him sing this during one of his homilies, it has become a regular hymn playing on my mind especially during times when I feel like I'm missing God. 

Bumalik sa bahay ng Ama, halina sa piling Niya
Bumalik sa bahay ng Ama, Siya'y naghihintay sa 'yo

We all have our imperfections but we are loved by a perfect God. We are all sinners but we are forgiven by a merciful Lord. At one point or another, we have gone astray - lost, hopeless, homeless. But it's never too late. We can always go back home to the King who joyfully anticipates our coming, the Father who longs to embrace us. In His home, our home, we are always welcome. :)

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