READINGS:Â Joshua 5: 9. 10-12 /Â Psalm 34: 2-3. 4-5. 6-7Â /Â 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21 /Â LUKE 15: 1-3. 11-32
HIS WORDâ€¦ A MAN HAD TWO SONS, AND THE YOUNGER SON SAID TO HIS FATHER, â€˜FATHER, GIVE ME THE SHARE OF YOUR ESTATE THAT SHOULD COME TO MEâ€¦â€™ SO THE FATHER DIVIDED THE PROPERTY BETWEEN THEMâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦The Fourth Sunday of Lent is also called the â€œLaetare Sundayâ€ â€“ a Sunday of Rejoicing because the Easter Victory is eminently coming. And we are brought to a beautiful reflection on the popular gospel story of the Prodigal Son. The personages of the Father, the elder son, and the younger son can also be the personifications of our attitudes towards God our Father.
The Younger Son. The younger son personifies over-excitements of life, mismanagements of graces and opportunities, no sense of savings or thriftiness, short-sightedness of life, and no sense direction in crises and dire needsâ€¦ except to return to the Father.
The Elder Son. The elder son personifies great pride, envy, self-righteousness, self-centeredness, over-confidence, non-acceptance, defiance to the Fatherâ€™s will, insecurities, and unhappy life. His non-reconciling and uncourteous attitude imprisoned him to himself.
The Father. The Father in the parable personifies great love and mercy and forgiveness. He is a liberal and liberating Father, freedom provider, assuring and very accommodating Father. He is always a â€œwaitingâ€ Father, patiently expecting the eminent return of the lost son, for reconciliation and grand reunion. He is a father who is always ready to forgiveâ€¦
Brothers and Sisters, exegetically, the younger son personifies the gentiles, the sinners, and other pagan people whom God likewise showered with His great love. The elder son personifies the house of Israel, the chosen people who were spoiled of Godâ€™s bountiful graces and blessings. They were the â€œexclusivistsâ€ people who shun, discriminated, and would not accept other people to become part of their heritage as children of God.
Brothers and Sisters, our sinfulness is grounded on the attitudes of the two sons: many times we fall away from God because of our short-sightedness and no sense of direction in life; and many times we are also imprisoned and contained to our pride and self-righteousness that make us discriminate other people by failing to see that they too are children of God. Let this Lenten season be a time of renewal for us to make us realize our sinfulness and do penance for them. Let this be a season of accepting each one as co-sinners so that together as one big family of God we all together return to Him after we have wandered away from His great love and generosity, and avail now of His great mercy and forgiveness for us sinners. And in this Jubilee Year of MERCY, let us all come to Himâ€¦ for the Merciful Father is just waiting for us, for our return, and for our renewal so that we may always be worthy legitimate children of the Father.
MAY THE LOVING AND FORGIVING FATHER WELCOME US ALWAYS BACK TO HIS FOLDâ€¦ (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)