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Take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor let them slip from your mind…Deuteronomy 4:9

The prodigal son’s return begins at the moment he realizes that he has lost everything but the most important thing. What finally allows him to return is his awareness of the one thing that remains, “I’m still the child of my father. I still belong to someone.”

In our lives, too, there are moments when we realize that, even if we may have done everything to destroy ourselves, we have never lost our true identity as beloved daughters or sons. That identity is never taken away. And that moment of realization is a very, very important moment.

Remember that when Judas and Peter had to decide and act, Peter shakily claimed his true identity as Jesus’ friend, but Judas didn’t. Peter went back, but Judas hanged himself. They had both acted badly by denying and betraying Jesus. Judas, however, was unable to hold onto the truth of his identity as the friend of Jesus. We, too, in our lives sometimes make choices beyond our physical, mental and emotional capacity to claim an authentic identity as a beloved son or a daughter of God. May we always try for a shaky return!

May I always remember, Lord, that I am your child.

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