Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20 Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12 Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32
The readings of today are very rich in terms of the Mercy of God. In the first Reading, Micah recalls the marvelous works and the merciful heart of God vis-a-vis the people of Israel. Psalm 103 sings the compassion the Lord has for us. The Gospel presents God as a loving and merciful father who always forgives our trespasses. Let us look more at the Gospel.
At the beginning of the Gospel, we see Pharisees and scribes who are upset and angry that Jesus not only welcomes sinners but also, has the audacity to sit down at table and eat with them. Jesus knowing their thoughts, told them a parable which sums up his mission on earth – the parable of the merciful father. It is one of the stories that people like much in the Scriptures because, the father’s forgiveness reassures them that, no matter how they have sinned, God will eagerly welcome them home. It is true, but Jesus gave this parable in response to the grumbling of the Pharisees and the scribes. The story of the elder brother speaks to them; and also, to us when we succumb to self-righteousness. However, the important figure is neither the younger son nor the elder but the father who loves his both sons, and seeks to restore the family, which has been broken by the younger son’s departure from home and the elder son’s disaffection toward his brother.
The father did not accept the request of his son to be treated as a servant but went ahead to reinstate his dignity, donning him with a robe, ring and shoes. In the attitude of the father, we can notice two things; first, he was the one who ran to meet his son; this shows that He has surely spent many long hours gazing down that road, hoping against hope to see his son returning. Secondly, he could not allow his son to finish what he had to say because he had almost given up hope. Now he has found what he had longed to find; his son is not only alive, but has come home. What a loving father!
At times in our lives, we also have left the home of our God (leaving God’s home does not only mean physical absence; we can be always in the Church, we are the first to come and the last to leave, taking many responsibilities, supporting the church financially etc. but we are not all Christians at all; I mean true followers of Jesus). We have wandered or are still wandering away and perhaps have also squandered what little sanctifying grace we have left. It is not yet late; this is a favorable time; the time to repent is now or never (do not say tomorrow, for tomorrow may be too late). God is always on the lookout for us, yearning for us, waiting for us to return home. Do not be afraid; God will never stop loving us!
Let us pray In your gentle mercy, Lord, guide our wayward hearts, for we know that left to ourselves we cannot do your will. We make our prayer through our Lord. Amen.