International L’Arche Family Day is on Saturday, October 3, 2015. All around the world, communities will be celebrating together the unique way that L’Arche brings strangers together and turns them into friends and family. This year, we have been asked as communities to reflect on the story of the Prodigal’s Son, from the prospective of being welcomed home.
We had hoped to welcome friends and family into our Euclid House for an Open House Sunday October 4th, and to invite all of our guest to celebrate International L’Arche Family Day with us. We regret to share that due to uncertain weather, with Hurricane Joaquin, we have decided it best to postpone our Open House until October 11th. In the meantime, we invite you to think in your life about being welcomed home.
Recall if you can the story of the Prodigal Son:
There was once a father who had 2 sons whom he loved dearly. All he had was theirs.
One day, the younger son demanded his share of the inheritance he was due when his father died. His father was sad to see his son wanted to go off on his own, but gave him the money. The younger son left and went off to a far distant country and spent all his money on drink, parties, women and fine clothes.
The day came when he had no money left. He was hungry, and alone as all his friends deserted him because he no longer had money to buy them drinks. He felt completely lost and sad. It seemed like the end of the world for him. But then he remembered his father and how well his father treated even the servants. He decided to go home and say he was sorry.
All this time his father was waiting for him to come home, hoping he would come home, praying for him. Each day his father stood outside his home looking out for his son. When he saw him in the distance coming home, his father ran to greet him with joy. The son began to say sorry but already the father was calling for the servants to prepare a great celebration to welcome him home.
That day there was a celebration to end all celebrations! The son was given a fi ne robe. A ring was placed on his finger. A fatted calf was killed and prepared for the feast. All rejoiced – except his older brother. He had stayed at home, working for his father, and resented the return of his brother. He could not forgive.
Have you visited with our community? Have you experienced the joy of a surprise welcome?
At L’Arche, many of us have felt the joy of welcome when we have least expected it, or have felt like we least deserved it. We hope that you will be able to experience the same.
hurricane joaquin, international family day, L'Arche Greater Washington, L'Arche International, open house, prodigal son, reflection