Metanoia on a Monday


So yesterday, I actually went to church, in part because I was reading the first lesson, and when I realized that the gospel was going to be about the prodigal son, I thought, “What is left to say about that?” I went to Catholic school for eleven years and had many opportunities not just to hear about Jesus’s parables but also discuss them and do skits about them. Enough already.

But then the priest giving the sermon talked about how this is a story that never uses the word “repent.” Rather, when the younger son is starving in the far country after squandering his inheritance, Luke says, “He came to himself.” The word used is the Greek word “metanoia,” which means turning around, converting, transforming. The priest asked, “What would it mean for us to come to ourselves? Imagine seeing yourself in a much brighter light and on a much larger canvas.”

I feel like this is what I have been doing lately. I just don’t quite know what to make of it.


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