Friday, March 21, 2014
Saturday Second Week of Lent
March 22, 2014
Saturday Second Week of Lent
Mi 7: 14-15, 18-20 / Ps 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12 / Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32
Reading: Mi 7: 14-15, 18-20
Shepherd your people with your staff, shepherd the flock of your inheritance that dwells alone in the scrub, in the midst of a fertile land. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old, in the days when you went out of Egypt. Show us your wonders. Who is a god like you, who takes away guilt and pardons crime for the remnant of his inheritance? Who is like you whose anger does not last? For you delight in merciful forgiveness. Once again you will show us your loving kindness and trample on our wrongs, casting all our sins into the depths of the sea. Show faithfulness to Jacob, mercy to Abraham, as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old.
Gospel: Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32
Meanwhile tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what he had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering. "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus told them this parable: Jesus continued, "There was a man with two sons. The younger said to his father: 'Give me my share of the estate.' So the father divided his property between them. Some days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and started off for a distant land where he squandered his wealth in loose living. Having spent everything, he was hard pressed when a severe famine broke out in that land. So he hired himself out to a well-to-do citizen of that place and was sent to work on a pig farm. So famished was he that he longed to fill his stomach even with the food given to the pigs, but no one offered him anything. Finally coming to his senses, he said: 'How many of my father's hired workers have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will get up and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against God and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me then as one of your hired servants.' With that thought in mind he set off for his father's house. He was still a long way off when his father caught sight of him. His father was so deeply moved with compassion that he ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. The son said: 'Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son...' But the father turned to his servants: 'Quick! Bring out the finest robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and kill it. We shall celebrate and have a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has come back to life. He was lost and is found.' And the celebration began. Meanwhile, the elder son had been working in the fields. As he returned and was near the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what it was all about. The servant answered: 'Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father is so happy about it that he has ordered this celebration and killed the fattened calf.' The elder son became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and pleaded with him. The indignant son said: 'Look, I have slaved for you all these years. Never have I disobeyed your orders. Yet you have never given me even a young goat to celebrate with my friends. Then when this son of yours returns after squandering your property with loose women, you kill the fattened calf for him.' The father said: 'My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But this brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life. He was lost and is found. And for that we had to rejoice and be glad.'"
In this parable the father represents our Lord God who is ever forgiving of our wrongdoings. He offers us mercy and allows us to repent so we may be able to receive His grace. The younger son has everything, and yet he chooses to live on his own. In the end when everything goes wrong and he has nowhere to go to and nothing to eat, he realizes his mistake. He lowers his pride and in words of a layman, he says, "Sorry." On the other hand, the elder son obeys and works for his father. Seeing his younger brother come back and his father accepting him with open arms maddens him. How come his hard work has not proved to have any reward to bear fruit, and yet his younger brother who has not even bothered to work received such rewards?
Sometimes some of us do not understand how God works. He gives blessings to those who have gone and come back and nothing to those who stay by His side. But is it really nothing? No. We work in order to give back what He has given us, and He has given us so much, even His only begotten Son. In verse 31, the Father voiced out that everything He has is ours and He is glad that we are by Him. This is the reward, of being by His side and being saved from sin.
Not only does this story apply in the family, but also in relationships, friends or in a stressful work area. Which characters are we in the story? Do you see yourself as the younger son, or as the elder son? We may already have heard this story countless times, but there will always be a new way to look at it.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
... for world peace and reconciliation.
... for the repose of the soul
* Arbie Katigbak
... for special intentions
* Fr. Aristotle Dy, SJ
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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