Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (15:1-3, 11-32) in which Jesus shares the parable of the Lost Son.
Fr Paul says, today’s gospel reading gives us a particularly attractive Lukan story of forgiveness. The story of the Prodigal Son is told with all Luke’s love, artistry and delicacy for the three characters in the story.
Firstly, the wasteful, good for nothing son goes back home not because he is repentant, but simply because he is hungry.
Secondly, the loving father is perpetually on the look-out, despite his son has written his father off with his implied ‘I don’t care whether you are alive or dead, I want my money’. This father runs to meet the son, interrupting the carefully-prepared speech and pampers the returned son. A cloak, ring, the sandals, and lets not forget a chicken would have made a good party, or perhaps a lamb; but a fattened calf will feed a whole village.
Fr Paul says, when the father loves the elder son enough to leave his guests at the party and go out into the field, the disgruntled son slanders his brother and is gently corrected by his father.
Fr Paul says, Luke’s characters are always a bit like ourselves, good and bad at the same time. In this parable the sons and the father often reflect on their situation and ask, ‘What shall I do now?’
For today’s reflection, Fr Paul invites us to consider this lesson: Lent reminds us that we cannot forget the overflowing love and forgiveness of God.
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