Wednesday 6 January 2016

Saturday of 2nd week of Lent Saturday of 2nd week of Lent

“A man had two sons.The younger one said to his father, ’Father, let me have the share of the estate that will come to you.”

Mi.7,14..20 Ps.102 Lk.15,1-3,11-32

Saturday of 2nd Week of Lent

“The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round to listen to him, and the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ’This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!’ So Jesus told them this parable : ’A man had two sons.The younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine and so he began to feel the pinch.”

When the young son asks his share of heritage, he doesn’t just want a nice sum of money, but he says to his father in a hidden way :’I consider you dead for me.’

In today’s world, how many Christians live as though God is dead, in this ’culture of death’. This attitude incites them to obtain everything straight away, to get everything they can get out of life, for this is there all for them, in a society of consummation.

When in a foreign land, it is hard not to adopt the customs of that country. So the image of God just fades away and disappears. This Word of the Gospel bears in it a fullness of Joy, for the paternal home is filled with the father’s joy , for he has found his youngest son again.

This young man of the Gospel has gone through a painful experience. Like he did, we too try to find a way out of all our questions. We have a hard time considering in us that dynamic where a joy is echoed in the joy of gatherings, the joy of reconciliation. We need to find within us this part where unity has been broken. This is when a famine comes along for us, like this man who wants to eat what the pigs are eating! In the end, thinking about it, he says to himself there are workers and mercenaries in his father’s home and they are treated in a better way than he is!

"Coming to his senses, he said to himself, ’ How many of my father’s hired men have all the food they want and more, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say :’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son;

treat me as one of your hired men.“But the father said to his servants’ Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we will celebrate by having a feast, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found!”

Before he went home, how much suffering had he gone through! The amount of departures we can go in life through makes us feel suffering acutely.

Our communities are getting old, churches are emptying, and the younger generations won’t be transmitting Christian faith to their children.

We are here before the mystery of our identity, of the image we have within us.

This man feels worthless now, set aside, now ready to accept anything in order to survive! He realises that in the heart of his father, he had remained alive, as if he were his only son.

We always have to discover within ourselves this deepest part of ourselves, the place of silence, this part that keeps on waiting, hoping for union, believing that everything is possible come what may, this part which is at the same time gentle, patient and which day after day keeps us alive!

“Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. calling one of the servants, he asked what it was all about. the servant told him :’Your brother has come, and your father has killed the calf we had been fattening because he has got him back safe and sound. He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out and began to urge him to come in; but he retorted to his father, ’All these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed any orders of yours, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends.But, for this son of yours, when he comes back from swallowing up your property-he and his loose women-you kill the calf we had been fattening. the father said to him, ’My son, you are with me always and all that I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and was found.”

This parable is a reminder for us how God always respects our choices, even the one we take when we set aside ourselves or set others apart.

’Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if someone hears my voice and opens the door, I enter in’

God never forces the door, he remains a father full of tenderness, who ’has the sun rise on the good and wicked, and has rain fall on the just and unjust.’

He loves the world so much that He sends His own Son to live and die amongst us.

The Christian community is invited to hold out firm in hope so that those men and women who have left the paternal home can be invited not to harden their hearts but to share in the Tender and Merciful Love of God.

The elder sons’ anger manifests what can be hidden in the hearts of so many people, his jealousy reveals how we haven’t understood the happiness of ’all that is mine belongs to you.’

This Word really does bear in it a fullness of Joy from the Father who would like his paternal home to be filled by the joy of the children found again and gathered all together .

We ask for the grace of a virginal way of seeing things and of the simplicity of Love.