Today's Gospel is one that assures us of the infinite love and mercy of God. During this time of Lent, when we especially pray for our estranged brothers and sisters to return to the Church, let's remind those who we are trying to persuade to return the Church of this beautiful Gospel. God is so loving and generous to us that He sees not a wicked and sinful people but the children He dearly loves. He will not lecture us, or withhold His graces from us in a measure commensurate with our sins. Everyone is a child of God and no matter what we've done or how long we've been away, the welcome remains the same, for all of us.
Keep plugging away at those wayward Catholics who think they've been away so long that it's too late to come back. Maybe you can't convince them to go to Mass. Ask them to go to Stations of the Cross with you, or invite them to Forty Hours Devotion. Last night, a young man who has been away from the sacraments came to Stations at the behest of his parents. The next thing you know, he was in the confessional seeking reconciliation with God. Never give up on those to whom much was given and much is being squandered. It's never too late and our task to convince those around us of this truth never ends.