Because we ourselves often feel resentments, we might imagine God as waiting to settle accounts with us some day. Because we can be vindictive, we project vengeance onto God. Such a distorted notion appears in our first reading today, where Moses seems to be more merciful than God. When the people worshipped the Golden Calf, God turns aside from his anger only because Moses intercedes on their behalf. How different is the picture of God that Jesus presents in his parable. Our heavenly Father is not an angry God who wants to judge us harshly, but a merciful God who wants to be close to us, and forgives all our foolishness. God is like the loving, welcoming parent who has lost a child, and cannot rest until the child is safely home.