Fourth Sunday of Lent
The story of the Prodigal Son is one of the most well-known narratives in the Bible. This story is presented after two other beautiful parables: the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. In all three parables, the theme of being lost and found followed by rejoicing is paramount. The story of the Prodigal or Lost Son appears only in Luke and it is a story that I am sure all of us can relate to given the complexities of family relationships. This is a story of making poor choices and living with the consequences of those choices in regret, but it does not end there. Through the Grace of God, the son comes to his senses and discovers his own sin. He is then motivated to seek forgiveness. Before he has a chance to apologize, his father embraces him warmly and kisses him, welcoming him home. The elder son meanwhile observes all this rejoicing and is resentful. The nature of our God is revealed in the actions of the father. Despite reason to be angry with the son, the father does the exact opposite. There is a reversal of expectations here. The father rejoices in his lost son being found and throws a party. The repentant son then sees himself as a loved sinner and is able to move beyond his past mistakes. The elder son is reminded of the love the father has always showed him which perhaps was taken for granted.
As we make our own pilgrimage through the season of Lent, we can have confidence that when we return to the Lord acknowledging the mistakes we have made, we too will be warmly embraced by God and welcomed home. Like the repentant son, we will hopefully see ourselves as loved sinners. We should always take notice of the love that God has already shown us rather than take it for granted. Doing this will make our lives a new creation and empower us to be stronger ambassadors for Christ.
Almighty God, give us the Grace to return to you and experience the warm embrace of your love. Amen.
Fr. Brian Cummings, S.S.E. ‘86, Director of Edmundite Campus Ministry
First Reading: Joshua 5:9a, 10-12
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website