Daily Reflection – Mar 6, 2016
Sunday 6 March 2016
First Reading: Joshua 5:9-12
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Today’s Note: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable:
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
Coming to his senses . . . (Luke 15:17)
At some time or another, we all stand back and assess our lives. Forward-looking people do this on a regular basis, and people who live in the moment wait for some kind of crisis—but everybody does it.
The prodigal son was in this second group. It wasn’t until he found himself in a state of complete misery that he came to his senses.
Surely this young man felt like a failure. Surely he worried that his relationship with his father was beyond repair. Still, he reasoned, “Even the most menial servant in my father’s house is treated better than I’m being treated right now. Even the saddest person back home is happier than me.” So he headed for home.
Maybe he wasn’t sincere. Maybe he didn’t feel sorry for his sins. Maybe all he wanted was a happier, more comfortable life. It didn’t matter. What mattered was that he decided to walk away from the bondage that he was in. Whether his motives were pure, mixed, or completely self-centered, he returned to his father. And the rest, as they say, is history. Of course his father wouldn’t treat him like just another servant! He lavished affection on him and threw a great party to celebrate his return.
Whenever we repent, our heavenly Father greets us just as happily. He doesn’t utter a single word of negativity or rejection. He welcomes us warmly and treats us like the children that we are. The only thing that matters is that we have come back home. He knows that if we stay with him, everything will work out in the end.
Don’t wait for a crisis to make changes in your life. Step back today, and carefully assess each area of your life—work, family, finances, recreation. The examination of conscience on page 18 can help you assess your spiritual life as well. Then run to your Father, and ask him for his grace. Stay with him, in his home, and you’ll be far happier.
“Here I am, Father. Let me know your mercy today.”