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The father in the story of the prodigal son is mother as well.  His running out to welcome his son, his embrace and kisses; his offering of the best robe, the ring, and the sandals; and his throwing a party are not the typical behaviour of a distant patriarch. They express so much tenderness, nurturing care, and self-effacing forgiveness that in them we see both motherly and fatherly love fully present.

The perfect love of our heavenly Father includes as well as transcends all the love that a father and mother can have for their children.   We may think about the two hands of God embracing us as a mother’s hand and a father’s hand: one caressing, consoling, and comforting, the other supporting, encouraging, and empowering.  We too are called to be father and mother to those who want to come home.

emphasis mine

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