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2nd Week of Lent
The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in mercy.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures. Ps 145 (144):8-9
O God, who grant us by glorious healing remedies while still on earth
to be partakers of the things of heaven,
guide us, we pray, through this present life
and bring us to that light in which you dwell.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.
Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the Lord, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. R.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion. R.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes. R.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us. R.
Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!
I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. Lk 15:18
Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!.
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable. “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. 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. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”
Prayer over the Offerings
Through these sacred gifts, we pray, O Lord,
may our redemption yield its fruits,
restraining us from unruly desires
and leading us onward to the gifts of salvation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
You must rejoice, my son,
for your brother was dead and has come to life;
he was lost and is found. Lk 15:32
Prayer after Communion
May your divine Sacrament, O Lord, which we have received,
fill the inner depths of our heart
and, by its working mightily within us,
make us partakers of its grace.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Daily Meditation: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
This parable has had many different titles through the years. Of course, there’s “The Prodigal Son,” but it has also been called “The Lost Son,” “Two Sons,” and even “The Running Father.” But perhaps Jesus’ listeners would have called it “The Foolish Father.” The way that the father handled his wayward son was completely against the logic or tradition of first-century Judaism.
First, by asking for his inheritance while his father was living, the younger son was implying that he wished his father were dead. The father should have been furious at the request, but he divided up the inheritance instead.
Second, when the father gave his son his share of the inheritance, the son sold it, took the money, and ran with it. This was not just an insult but a financial blow to his father. Even if the father were to divide his estate before his death, his sons would not have been allowed to sell anything until after he had passed away. The father still needed to live, after all!
The fact that the father ran to greet this son would also have been shocking to Jesus’ listeners. It was considered undignified for a mature man to be chasing after his son like that. As patriarchal as Jewish society was, children always came to their fathers, not the other way around! So it would have been scandalous for the father to humiliate himself before this ungrateful son.
Finally, when the father killed the fatted calf and threw a big party, he was indirectly using the eldest son’s inheritance. There was nothing else left to use. No wonder the older boy was angry!
Jesus used the father’s outlandish behavior to highlight the depth of God’s mercy. It’s almost illogical the way our heavenly Father forgives us over and over again. It’s scandalous the way he lavishes us with undeserved treasures. But this is our God, and his love for us is real!
Today, try to imagine God racing toward you: his robes hiked up, his face filled with anticipation. Doesn’t it make you want to run to him?
“Thank you, Lord, for your endless mercy towards me. Show me how to run home to you and receive my inheritance!”
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
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