The word reconciliation literally means “to meet again.” The Prodigal father does everything possible so that his two sons would be reconciled - meet again. He rushes out of the house when he glimpsed from afar his errant younger son coming home. He leaves the homecoming party for his younger son in order to plead with the older son: “‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’” (Luke 15: 31-32)
The spiritual life is a coming home to the deepest truth of ourselves as God’s Beloved (see the reflection on March 6, 2010). Moreover, it is a coming home together. We recognize that others, as different or wounded as they are, are likewise God's Beloved. For we belong not only to God, but also to one another.
Mysteriously, God chooses human beings to be the key venue where others can encounter God. For when we care for, accept, or forgive one another, we often experience God's care, acceptance, forgiveness. Without our knowing much of the time, we serve as a bridge, connecting others to God. Despite our limitations, weaknesses, and sins, we are called to become a place where we and others can meet God again.
For much of my life, I've mistakenly thought that forgiveness and reconciliation is an "extra option" of being Christian. I am learning more and more that it is essential to the following of Christ. For we are called to come home together. It is not easy to forgive others, to accept forgiveness, or to forgive ourselves. Yet, our hope lies in Christ through whom we are already new creations.
“Lord, who do you invite me ‘to meet again’? What aspect of my life needs to be reconciled with you?”