Prayer of the Day

Fourth Sunday of Lent

March 6th, 2016
"We had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life." Luke 15 : 32
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Today’s liturgy from its very first word reminds us that Lent is really a season of joy.  We already know that the Passion and Death of Jesus will lead us to his glorious Resurrection so we can wholeheartedly pray the Entrance Antiphon – ‘Rejoice,  Be joyful and exult.’ (Isaiah 66 : 10)  However it is above all the Gospel story of the Prodigal Son that fills our hearts with joy since it reveals God as a loving Father,  full of mercy and forgiveness.  Jesus told this parable to the Pharisees who were murmuring against his practice of welcoming sinners and eating with them.  Like so many of Our Lord’s parables,  this one presents a striking picture of God’s inclusive love.  It is a picture which was meant to challenge the Pharisees who were self righteous and felt they were the only ones who had earned a place in God’s Kingdom.  They represent the older son who resents the way his father welcomes home his prodigal brother celebrating with merciful love and celebrates his homecoming with a big party.

We can see ourselves in the two sons.  Sometimes we turn our back on God and forget about him and there are times when we stay at home serving God in a routine and non loving way.  Whatever our present disposition we can rejoice because God loves us as we are and he invites us to throw ourselves into his arms and let ourselves be renewed by his merciful love.

Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us to be merciful like the Heavenly Father and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him. Show us your face and we will be saved. Amen (Jubilee Prayer of Mercy - Pope Francis)