When we approach the sacrament of Reconciliation, we come as prodigal sons and daughters, returning home to the welcoming arms of a merciful Father. In the parable, God’s readiness and desire to forgive our sins is beautifully expressed by the father seeing his son while he is still a long way away and then running to meet him. This would have been considered quite undignified for an elderly Jewish man but our Heavenly Father is not concerned with his dignity. Rather, he wants to restore our dignity. So when we go to confession – as we are strongly encouraged to do during Lent – we must have this picture in our head: of the Father running towards us, eager to welcome us back home.