I borrowed once again from the end of Bishop Barron’s reflection this morning. Throughout our Lenten readings at Mass, I think a theme of God’s kindness and mercy have been shining through…
Today’s Psalm – The Lord is kind and merciful
March 22 – Remember the Marvels the Lord has done
March 21 – Blessed are they who hope in the Lord
March 20 – Save me, o Lord, in Your kindness
March 18 – Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins
March 17 – The Lord is my Light and my Salvation
This whole week has been about God’s kindness, forgiveness, marvelousnous, throw in any positive adjective you can think of. And all of this greatness is shared with us again in our Gospel today. Who doesn’t know that parable of the Prodigal Son? The question is, as Bishop Barron asks this morning – who is it you relate to in this story?
Me? The brother. I try not to show this outwardly but inwardly I find myself thinking a lot like the brother in this parable. One of the prayers we recite at Sunday Mass is one I need to pray quite often – “I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned. In my thoughts, in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do – through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault…” How does this pray tie into the Prodigal Son parable? There have been times in the past when either someone is accepted into the Church or comes back to the Church with much fanfare and I’m thinking to myself, how about throwing a donut my way! As we see in today’s Gospel, I need to realize I have a donut thrown my way every Sunday – I get to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ Himself. If the reward I seek for all the work I do for the Church and for the greater glory of God is a donut, a shout out, a round of applause, then what I am doing is in vain because I am not seeking for God to be praised but for me to be praised. So as I read this Gospel again, I need to take comfort in the fact that God’s graces have always been available for me – I just need to reach out and share in them. I need to remind myself that what I do for God is reward enough for me – and it is. I need to remind myself that Christ NEVER sought out glory and fame – His life was lived in praise of the Father and for the salvation of my soul (and of yours).
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.
Do something great for our Lord today – spend some time in prayer and reflect on who YOU are in this parable.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.