Parable of prodigal mercy

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By Joseph R. Veneroso, M.M.
Photos by Sean Sprague

Mercy moves the heartbroken father
To keep lonely vigil by day and night
Till he catches sight of his wayward son
Returning to recite some insincere
Act of imperfect contrition.

Mercy rushes out to meet him halfway
Hugging and kissing and calling
For rings and robes and sandals
To adorn and cover the ingrate’s shame
And feasting with music to welcome back
From the dead the undeserving son
Who squandered his father’s inheritance.

Mercy pleads with the older brother
Justified in his righteous indignation
To come in and join in the father’s joy
Who loves not the younger less for his sins
Nor the elder more for his forced fidelity.

Merciful Christians, praise God
Who watches and waits for our return
And lavishes abundant mercy upon us
Most sinful and unworthy
Asking only that we join in rejoicing
With all our brothers and sisters!