Saturday, March 05, 2016
06 March 2016
06 March 2016
4th SUNDAY OF LENT (Laetare Sunday)
Jos 5:9a, 10 – 12 / 2 Cor 5:17 – 21 / Lk 15:1 – 3, 11 - 32
Gospel Reading: 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."
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 slave 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 1966 Clint Eastwood starred in the movie, "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." We could make use of the movie title to help us understand the three main characters of today's parable.
"The Bad": The younger son's demand for his inheritance was equivalent to wishing his father was dead. The villagers would have been justified to punish him on his return for his insult against his father. Thus, the father rushed out to meet him to protect him from others.
This is how we at times are with God and others. We value things more than persons. We repent because we are afraid of consequences rather than because we have hurt others.
"The Ugly": The elder son's anger reveals him even worse than his younger brother. He did not love his brother; he did not love his father. Even his faithful obedience to his father was heartless compliance.
Jesus said that the greatest commandment was to love: the elder son committed the greater sin because he refused to love.
"The Good": The father's goodness stands in stark contrast to the selfishness of his sons. We are struck by his humility, kindness and generous willingness to forgive.
In the end "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" is really our life story, with God as the good Father and we as the bad and ugly sons.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Charleton Royce G. Yu
Felix S. Saw
Michael P. Robles
For the eternal repose of Eliezer Billanes.
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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