Fourth Sunday of Lent

In search of God

‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly… The father said to his servants, “We are going to have a celebration, because this son of mine was lost and is found.” Luke 15:20, 24

I have long believed, and often said, that humanity is all the time in search of God, though often we do not know it. But, in so far as we are searching for truth, for goodness, for beauty, and in so far as we are in search of love, of justice, of happiness, then we are in search of God. If we live those search experiences, so I believe, we catch a glimpse of God.

Humanity is in search of God, but only because God is in search of humanity. It is always that way round, for in every case, and at every moment, the initiative is always his.

Can anything be more moving, more consoling, than this little scene, which speaks so eloquently of the way God sees and understands each one of us? Just think of those words – your Father sees you, takes pity on you, and, running up, will throw his arms around your neck and kiss you.

The Father is in search of us always, his wayward sons and daughters. But as we pursue our search for God, we shall, as the search progresses, discover Christ. Wounded though we are, lost though we often seem to be, mistaken many a time in the way we should search and serve, nonetheless we come back always to him.

Father, help me search for you, as you search for me, always.

We pray for all those who are unemployed – that they will find fulfilling work.

Reflection by Cardinal Basil Hume OSB – originally in ‘A Turning to God’, edited by Patricia Hardcastle Kelly (DLT 2007), used with permission