There's a short story by Richard Pindell, called "Somebody's Son." It opens with a runaway boy, named David, sitting by the side of the road. He's writing a letter home to his mother. The letter expresses his hope that his old-fashioned father will forgive him and accept him again as a son.
The boy writes:
In a few days I'll be passing our property. If Dad will take me back, ask him to tie a white cloth on the apple tree in the field next to our house."
Days later, David is seated on a train rapidly approaching his home. Two pictures flash back and forth in his mind: the tree with a white cloth tied on it and the tree without a white cloth. As the train gets closer, David's heart beats faster and faster.
When the train passes the tree, David can't believe what he sees. The apple tree has a white cloth tied to practically every branch!
This story is an example of what Jesus teaches us in today's gospel. God our Father loves us and wants us to be with Him in Heaven. Even though we're sinners, all God asks is that we recognize our sins and come to God seeking forgiveness. Then we will see that God is all loving and all forgiving.
Sincerely in Christ,