WSC Reflection March 27, 2022

4th Sunday of Lent (Cycle C, Year II)
Community Word: We are saved by our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son.
Theme: Our faith in Jesus, God’s chosen Son, allows us to be reconciled with God and receive His graces.
Promise: “You are here with me always, everything I have is yours.” (Lk 15:31)

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (or Lost Son) is a very popular parable which focuses on the lessons of repentance, divine mercy, forgiveness and restoration. The three characters (the son, father and older brother) give us relevant insights even today. We see a son who pained his father by going away to squander his inheritance. We see a father who, despite the irreverence and disrespect of his son, continued to wait for the return of his son. We see an older brother who thought all the time that he was the obedient and productive one, but resented that his father welcomed the son who is useless and self-indulgent. We can relate to any of them when we sin and ask forgiveness, when we receive back those who wronged us, when we are considerate of one another and be welcoming to those who want to reform their lives and give them another chance to do better.
The story is an expression of great mercy, love, compassion and understanding. By human standards, this can be considered an unusual, impossible kind of love and forgiveness. But God’s ways are not our ways. One can consider the parable as the ‘Parable of the Father’s Extreme Love.’ The forgiving father in today’s gospel represents our Heavenly Father. The parable is a clear manifestation that God is so tender and generous in His forgiveness. God does not only wait for us. He searches us and celebrates our coming back to His fold. Luke’s gospel paints this poignant scene: “While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him,” (Lk 15:20). God does not keep a record of our transgressions. It is said that once we sincerely repent of our sins, God will not remember them anymore. We need to know our Father’s heart to understand why He looks for the lost sheep, welcomes sinners and fellowships with them. He wants to renew us and make us His own. “Whoever is in Christ is new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come,” (2 Cor 5:17).
The parable illustrates that being away from the Father means missing the grace of the abundant life. The prodigal son wanted to live a life of unbridled pleasure and carefree living, only to realize that earthly things are temporary. Yet when he returns to his father, he finds that there is still plenty to live on. When we are disconnected from God, we are actually saying that we do not want to be His children or inheritors of His gifts and graces. Yet, with just the smallest hint of repentance, God is willing to accept us back. While we are sinners, our Father in heaven not only waits for us, but constantly looks for us. He will always treat us with love, mercy and dignity.
This Lenten season, let this parable be the inspiration for us to turn away from our sinful ways, repent and go back to our Lord through the sacrament of Reconciliation and receive Him in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus is leading us to a God who is patient, merciful and forgiving, while exhorting us to be always vigilant. We are called to be obedient to the Father by making sure that we follow God out of love, not just out of duty (unlike the older brother in the parable). We must acknowledge that our Father is merciful and forgiving, and we must continue to transform our ways and become His righteous children (cf. 2 Cor 5:21).
God, our Father, answers all our needs. His grace is sufficient for us and He never leaves us wanting for anything. Even before we ask, He knows what is in our heart. But we need to be reconciled with God and with our brothers and sisters, so that we may approach Him with reverence and embrace Him with love, joy and gratitude, and acknowledge that He is present in our midst. What glorious assurance we have when our Heavenly Father tells us: “You are here with me always, everything I have is yours,” (Lk 15:31)!

Heavenly Father, our gentle and merciful God, You are full of love and compassion to your children. As sinners, we are assured of Your grace of forgiveness. We only have to change our ways and desire to humbly approach You with contrite heart and humility. We ask this prayer in the name of Jesus. We seek the loving intercession of our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. Amen.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Do I exercise the five “R’s” every time I sin? (Recognition, Remorse, Resolve, Reformation, Restitution)?
  2. What hinders me from asking forgiveness or forgiving those who have offended me?
  3. How can I be a better ambassador of reconciliation at home, at work and within the community?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
March 27, 2022 (Sun) – Jos 5:9-12/ Ps 34:2-7/ 2Cor 5:17-21/ Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
March 28, 2022 (Mon) – Is 65:17-21/ Ps 30:2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13/ Jn 4:43-54
March 29, 2022 (Tue) – Ez 47:1-9/ Ps 46:2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9/ Jn 5:1-16
March 30, 2022 (Wed) – Is 49:8-15/ Ps 145:8, 9, 13, 14, 17, 18/ Jan 5:17-30
March 31, 2022 (Thu) – Ex 32:7-14/ Ps 106:19, 20, 21, 22, 23/ Jn 5:31-47
April 1, 2022 (Fri) – Wis 2:1, 12-22/ Ps 34:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23/ Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
April 2, 2022 (Sat) – Jer 11:18-20/ Ps 7:2-3, 9-10, 11-12/ Jn 7:-40-53

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”


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