Reflection on the Fourth Sunday of Lent: March 6, 2016
Scriptures of the Day
Joshua: 5:9a, 10 – 12
2Paul Corinthians 5:17 – 21
Luke 15: 1 – 3, 11-32
If we had to vote for one Gospel to reflect on during this “Year of Mercy”, I believe this Sunday’s Gospel – The Prodigal Son –would win, hands down!
In a sense, this Gospel has taken on a life of its own. For centuries, the story has focused on and was named, the Prodigal Son. In recent years, noteworthy writers and speakers have titled the story, the Prodigal Father. I imagine that by the end of this “Year of Mercy”, this beautiful parable will be referred to as the Merciful Father. I suggest that this is so because the story of the Prodigal Son is engaging at so many different levels. Any one of us, at any time in our life, can identify with the situations, events, and people that are a part of the story.
Just stop and take a moment to reflect on:
which name for this Gospel resonates with you at this time in your life …
with whom can you most readily identify in the Gospel story . . .
where do you find yourself in relation to the Father . . .
Ultimately, do we find ourselves in the loving embrace of our forgiving, merciful Father?
Have we finally come to realize that there is no need to demand the fair share of our inheritance, as the younger son did. Have we experienced enough of life to know that the Father has so much more to give us than just our fair share. Have we matured enough to use the gifts of the kingdom, to share them with others, so that there is an increase of riches, rather than a wasteful selfish spending of them.
Are we sometimes like the older son, who really missed the boat. Have we like him, foolishly burdened ourselves with a false sense of responsibility, believing that it is our duty to earn our salvation. Have we forgotten that the kingdom is already ours. We need only to be thankful to our Father, cooperate with His gift of grace, and spend our life spreading the goodness of God to others. This is a life that radiates the fullness of joy, a joy that can never be taken from us, a joy that enables us to celebrate the Father’s goodness and love with saints and sinners!
During the course of our lives, every one of us has been a prodigal son/daughter. At times each one of us has been an overly responsible, but sometimes resentful son/daughter. But always, at every moment of our lives we remain the precious son/daughter of our God. Our Father is always waiting for us to return, so that he can remind us, “Everything I have is yours”
How fortunate we are! The church gives us the Season of Lent to call us back to right relationship with ourselves, others, and God.
How fortunate we are! The Scriptures repeatedly remind us of the Good News – the good news that God is on our side.
Howfortunate we are! God has blessed us with Jesus. He has given us his Son to show us His Face, His mercy, His unconditional love.
by Sr. Gerrie Contento, M.P.F.