JOS 5:9A, 10-12
PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 COR 5:17-21
LK 15:1-3, 11-32
During the Lenten time, the first readings each Sunday relay significant moments from salvation history. God worked marvelous deeds for the people of Israel. On this Fourth Sunday of Lent, we see that the Israelites are completing a long journey in the desert and will celebrate their Passover in a new land with rich produce and an abundance of good things.
We, as Christians, are now in the middle of our own Lenten journey of forty days. We have been travelling in the desert and have embraced a sacrificial attitude. Our themes of action have been prayer, fasting and works of mercy. This is a very good weekend to take some time to evaluate where we have been since Ash Wednesday and where we still want to go as we approach the great Solemnity of Easter. Take a few moments, as St. Paul does in his writing to the Corinthians, to ask what “new things” in your life can replace some “old ones?” Paul offers the challenge of being ambassadors of reconciliation. This world and our own lives are in deep need of reconciliation. To do this we must be willing to change, give up our own opinions at times and defer to someone else and reach out with true willingness to be forgiving and merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful. God, our Father, gave up His only Son. We can surely give up some of our sinful and unforgiving ways!
The Gospel story of The Prodigal Son is familiar to us; and surely the father in the Gospel today showed forgiveness towards his son in a prodigious way. It seems almost impossible that he would forgive all that his son had done in wasting money and property and renouncing his father when he left. However, since this is an image for God our Father, it is the most believable of stories for us. God loves us so much; His arms are wide open; His words of mercy flow so easily towards us as seen in the father who forgives his son. We will continue to have the problem of saying and doing things that move us away from God, but let us remember we always have the Sacrament of Reconciliation to show God our sorrow and to restore our relationship with Him. It is a Sacrament that is ALWAYS available for us to run to. This Lent, may the mercy and love of God, our Father, and Jesus, who gave up His life for us, fill each of us with peace and reconciliation of mind and heart!
Sister Diane Marie Corrado, CSFN