Eucharistic Readings for the 4th Sunday in Lent: Year C
Joshua 5:9 to12; Psalm 32; 2nd Corinthians 5:16 to 21; Luke 15:1 to 3 and 11 to 32:
“But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!” (Luke 15:17)
This is a very popular parable in the New Testament and unique to Luke. I like to call chapter 15 of Luke the lost chapter. This is not that the chapter was lost but that it is about lost possessions. First a sheep is lost. Next a coin is lost. And lastly, we have the lost son.
Within the Lost Son (or Prodigal Son) parable, there are several points that can be preached on, for example the two sons can represent God’s promise to Israel in the older son; the older son’s attitude is yet another topic. The Father welcoming back the wayward son is still another. But my focus is on the younger son “coming to himself.”
I have an adult child who suffers from addiction. I have suffered greatly with the trials and tribulations we went through wanting her to live a sober life. We wanted it for her (and just maybe for me too). It was not until she decided that enough was enough that she got help and turned her life around. I thank Jesus for her continued recovery. I also let her know all the time how proud I am of her. However it was not until she “came to herself” that she was able to say to herself “I will go and get help and stop this tragic life I’m living.” And she was received with open arms by her support group and by her mother and me.
In life, many of us will get out of sync with how God has made us. It’s like a car being out of timing. Sometimes I think it’s a matter of moving faster or slower than the natural pace which God has timed us with. And sometimes it’s a matter of the bad influences of addiction or wayward people or both. In any case, we fall out of sync. We fall away from our natural rhythms and need to be tuned up. We often can’t do it ourselves but just knowing we need adjustment is a good beginning. The self-talk that the lost son did is a good example of acknowledging we are going in the wrong direction and need to turn around and go home or to a recognized place of safety. It’s a personal thing but each of us needs to ponder anew what we are doing.
Please remember to pray for the people of Ukraine. Praying for others is the most blessed act we can do and is so precious in God’s sight. With prayer, Russians too will come to themselves.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John