Year C -
4th Sunday of Lent
He was lost, and is found.
Luke 15:1-3 11-32
1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable:
11 Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them.
13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.
14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.
16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.
17 But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!
18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands." '
20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
21 Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out a robe -- the best one -- and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate.
25 "Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.
27 He replied, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.'
28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.
29 But he answered his father, 'Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!'
31 Then the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.' " (NRSV)
Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus
The Pharisees and the Scribes were very critical of all my activities, especially when I did not follow their customs as strictly as they expected me to. I was the perfect man, the Christ. There was something mysterious in me that they could not work out.
I was the Son of God and the Redeemer and my message was everything that they needed to hear. But because of their pride they preferred to become my enemies, so in my mission as the merciful Savior of the world, I put before them the parable of the prodigal son.
What I am trying to illustrate is the reality of the life of men. I have created human beings with great love; they have become my children. It is very tragic to see how a man leaves me and turns away from good to end up living in sin, destroying his body and soul, corrupting himself and others and wasting the talents that I have given him. He even complains about the divine providence failing him because he fails to see the damage he is doing to himself and neglects to understand the goodness of my generosity.
I am your heavenly Father, the one who does not look so much to your sins but to my goodness and mercy. I desire to forgive sinners when they repent. It is of course necessary that man abandon his evil conduct by repentance and start looking for the fountain of mercy that I have made available in my forgiveness.
When someone is living in sin, he is dead to me. When he repents and comes back to me he is alive, I rejoice with his repentance, he is welcome back as my son. For this reason I invite everyone to pray for sinners to repent so that they may also enjoy the benefits of my goodness. I am not a punitive God, I am the tender Father who has been abandoned by his children, my love is a fire burning constantly in my heart and I desire for all of you to be close to me.
Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary
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