Posted by: livingscripture | March 14, 2010

Fourth Sunday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

 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.

                                          Luke 15: 32

 How should we live this Word

 Today’s liturgy is imbued with a note of joy, ‘Rejoice!’  God rejoices and invites every repentant sinner to the feast.  Jesus is surrounded by many publicans, Pharisees, and scribes.  He recounts a parable that appropriate for all of them.  He shows the new image of God and the relationship among us that derives from it. 

 We will pause on three personages.  There is the central figure of the Father (God).  He deeply loves His children and wants their well being.  He respects the liberty of each one, both the one that remains with him and the one that goes away.  Then He is full of mercy when the son returns, indigent but repentant.  He suffers for the son who cannot understand His compassionate goodness.

The younger son calls Him Father, yet in his immaturity and egoism, he does not recognize Him as such.  He feels that their rapport is one of suffocating dependence and wants to go and live his life as he wishes.  Thus he takes his inheritance and goes to a distant country.

 The older son remains but he too is incapable of knowing his Father and does not even use the term.  He is closed in his little world.  He deems himself ‘in place’ because he has done his duty.  Yet in his heart, he feels oppressed like a slave. 

 Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on the message Jesus gives me through the Father, the younger son, and the older son.  God does not love me because I am good but because He is a Father.

 Lord Jesus, I want to partake of the eternal banquet.  I thank You because You lead me to know the Father.  Teach me humility of heart that I may realize God as my Father ever more deeply, that He loves me and waits for me.  Help me to love every person with compassion.

 The voice of Henri Nouwen, Spiritual Author

 A very concrete expression of love is to celebrate.  To celebrate means to raise up gifts of joy, of peace, of love, of perseverance, of goodness, of gentleness, of people.  The more you love others unconditionally, the more you can love yourself the way God loves you and them.

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