The story of the Prodigal son is a story about how God treats all of us, about how God receives and accepts us all. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, as the old hymn says. God does not behave as we would expect God to behave. God does not allow some idea of justice to get in the way of mercy. God does not allow so-called righteousness to get in the way of love. God asks you to be an ambassador for Love.
The ancient rabbis taught that the city of God hovers mere inches above the earthly city. The work of faithful people is never to lose sight of the justice, the hope, the fullness of life that can be. We pray. We seek out and stand with the lost, the least, the left out. We ask forgiveness. We soothe the suffering. We pity the afflicted. We hold the hands of the dying. We gather together with those who mourn. We shield the joyous. We build up, inch by inch, until our streets are just a little closer.
Lenten discipline aren’t meant to be self-improvement projects, that’s thinking too small. God invites us to grow for the sake of others. God invites us to be more whole, that we might become repairers of the breach, menders of broken walls, restorers of livable streets.