March 14: Second Saturday of Lent

Giorgio de Chirico, The Prodigal Son, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, 1922

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Then Jesus said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. 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 (NRSV, Luke 15:11-12).

Let us pray.

Father, for time out of mind and in places all over the globe, human beings have been trying to placate the divine power for their own wayward actions by offering gifts in payment. Jesus, in one story, perhaps the best attributed to him, puts it all to rest. There is never need for payment to you, Lord, for anything. Everything from you, Father, material creation, divine life that is shared, and most importantly, forgiveness for sins, all is freely given. All is gift.

Like the prodigal son who has squanders his father’s inheritance, we wonder what we must do to find forgiveness from you for our sins. What possible payment? The father in the story is only waiting for his son’s return. When he sees the son approaching in the distance, he rushes out, embraces him and orders the fatted calf killed to celebrate. The father is so effusive in expressing his welcome that the son never even gets to express his contrition.

And so it is, Father, with you and us. Even when we commit the most grievous of sins, your Word never abandons us even though we may try to flee his presence. He remains always with us, pressing in upon us, offering us your forgiveness, Father, and the renewed gift of your life. All we must do is accept it and allow it once again to transform our lives.

Renewed in your grace, Lord, we go out to others that we have sinned against in an effort to undo as best we can the evil that we have wrought. The forgiveness we have received, we too will share with those who have sinned against us. Hopefully then sinner and sinned against will together accept even a further growth in the divine life of your Spirit that you always offer to all through your Word.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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