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Then he shall get up, come to his father, and confess to him, “I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me like one of your hired servants.”  

When he confesses like that, he will be considered worthy of more than that for which he prayed. His father neither takes him in like a hired servant nor treats him like a stranger. Oh no, he kisses him as a son. He accepts him as a dead man come back to life again. He counts him worthy of the divine feast and gives him the precious garment he once wore.  

Now there is singing and joy in the father’s home. What happened is the result of the Father’s grace and loving kindness. Not only does he bring his son back from death, but also through the Spirit he clearly shows his grace. To replace corruption, he clothes him with an incorruptible robe. To satisfy hunger, he kills the fatted calf. The Father provides shoes for his feet so that he will not travel far away again. Most wonderful of all, he puts a divine signet ring upon his hand. By all these things, he begets him anew in the image of the glory of Christ.  

© Liturgical Press.

St. Athanasius, Festal Letter

Athanasius of Alexandria (ca. 295–373), Confessor and Doctor of the Church, became known as the “Father of Orthodoxy” for defending the divinity of Christ against Arius.

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