Friday, June 21, 2024
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‘Just come home’

Reflecting on the inspiration of my grandmother’s life of simple faith, I realised that filling my life with relationships and the competitiveness of elite sport were not filling the void in my heart, and that only God could do that. And so, like the prodigal son, I came home.

I came home to discover a personal relationship with God who loves me as I am, not as I want to be. I came home to realise that my heart was made for love without limits and that I wanted to make a difference with my life by serving God as a consecrated woman.

And God ran to meet me and continues to run to meet me every day, in the highs and the lows, promising me that He is with me, and that from death and darkness there can be life and light.

We see the image of a merciful father at the moment when the father sees the younger son returning in the distance. Hiking up his robes, the father runs to his son. Not with demands of explanation, not with words of “I told you so” – just with welcome … just with love.

Here stands a powerful reminder for each of us. Despite making unwise choices in life and at times turning our backs on God, God continues to remain faithful, patiently waiting for our return.

Undeniably, Jesus told the story of the prodigal son for a reason. It says to us all: never mind what you’ve done. Just come home.

God needs our availability and our willingness to get up again and again every time we make a mess. And when we realise that we are not who we are because we are any better than anyone else, but because of God’s mercy and God’s grace, then perhaps we can become a little more accepting of the differences of others, and a little more ready to not just welcome but accept all people at the table.


Mel Dwyer FdCC is a Canossian Daughter of Charity, prior to which she was a national-level javelin thrower with a dream of representing Australia at the Olympics. She is currently a member of the General Council of the Congregation, residing in Rome. This extract is from In Her Voice: Raising Women’s Voices in Preaching the Gospel.

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