Home Community Sunday Gospel Thoughts March 26, 2022, 4th Sunday of Lent

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  • #3614
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Gospel
    Lk 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.’”

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by Phrogge.
    #3616
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    The Parable of the Prodigal Son is no doubt about God’s loving mercy and care for all of us. While we have heard the Parable many times and accept God being caring and merciful with us, it probably does not have much of an affect on how we live our every day lives.

    There are a number of ways to look at this Parable, or any parable, in our own life. One way is to pray the Parable.

    — We begin by asking the Holy Spirit to help us, without sayin the kind of help we want. The idea is to be fully open to the Spirit in every way.

    — We then slowly read the Parable over a few times, ready to be surprised, not thinking what the Parable will say because it has always said this, etc.

    — Then we look at the characters in the Parable — the Prodigal Son, the Father, the elder son, the servants, finally Jesus. We try to get inside their heads. The Parable tells us what they were thinking, but when we put ourselves inside them, we might begin to see things that somehow have an effect in our thinking, in the way we see something we are dealing with in our own life.

    — The important thing is to do this slowly, not forcing any particular idea or insight.

    This approach can be used with any of the Gospel Stories. The important thing is being ready to be surprised.

    #4199
    Sherri Buck
    Participant

    I know I’m really late to respond to this, but sometimes, things don’t come to me when I want, but when it’s needed. This weekend actually allowed me to combine my thinking with this parable and the resurrection!

    Again, thinking about the prodigal son, growing up I never understood why the “good” son, didn’t get the celebration, that the runaway son did. But this is where the resurection comes into play for me. Just follow along and let me explain:

    The elder son in his mind has done everything the father has asked, always did as he says. But the difference being when the younger son came home, it wasn’t about what his mind said (it’s ok to leave and squander money) but in his heart he realized how much he hurt his father. His heart asked for forgiveness, not just saying the words. The elder son was busy proffering himself as to how good he was. “He did everything right”.

    Now, this is what struck me this weekend. When they looked in the tomb the garments of His body were in one spot and those that covered His head were set aside. I think this is very symbolic and coincides with the prodigal son. Maybe this is a way to tell us that what is in our mind and heart may be very different. And sometimes we are telling ourselves that “hey I’m doing everything right” and maybe within our heart we aren’t looking deep enough.

    I think the spirit is telling me (personally) that this is something I need to look closer at. Not let my mind overrule (overthink), but let my heart show through use it to speak to others and allow the spirit to work through me!

    #4223
    Phrogge
    Keymaster

    Sherri. Good stuff. I never would have thought of things the way you are. This shows that the Spirit speaks to us in our life as it is, and the same scripture passage can say very different things to people. You have the gift of being open to the Spirit, and you use it well. Impressive.

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