Saturday, March 9, 2013


v  The center of the readings is the parable of the Prodigal Son, which certainly could be called the parable of the Good Father .

v  This father is the Father in Heaven, the Father that Jesus wants to share with us, as he said the day of his resurrection “my Father and your Father…” 

v  Let us see the message that the readings give to us. 

FIRST READING   Jos 5:9-12
·        The book of Josuah is the first book of the Bible after the Pentateuch.  The people of Israel that has arrived to the Promise Land will have to adapt his life to the new situation. 

·        They had been nomads that journeyed through the desert to the land promised to their Fathers. 

·        Now they will have to adapt new forms of life, they will have to learn how to cultivate the soil, they will be farmers.   

·        They will have also to adapt the way they worship.   

·        What do the readings say to us?  

o   God reminds them that He is the one who has liberated them, that has taken away the shame they suffered being slaves in Egypt  

o   Now they are in the land and they will celebrate for the first time the Passover in the land.  

o   This same day the manna disappear, from now on they will have to provide by themselves cultivating the land which will provide what they need. 


I will bless the Lord at all times
His praise shall be ever in my  mouth
Let my soul glory in the Lord
The lowly will hear and be glad 

Glorify the Lord with me
Let us together extol his name
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
And delivered me from all my fears. 

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy
And your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the Lord heard
And from all his distress eh saved him  

SECOND READING  2 Cor 5,17-21
Ø  Paul speaks to his community of Corinth about the newness of those who are in Christ.
Ø  We began to be in Christ when we were baptized, when we became new creatures. 
Ø  He also reminds them that whatever is old has passed away, it does not exist anymore.  
Ø  He says that all of this was possible through the loving initiative of God in Christ that reconciled us with the Father. 
Ø  And this reconciliation that Christ made on the cross, he has given it to us, to the Church, so that we might become ministers of reconciliation in the world.
Ø  As ministers of reconciliation we need to say to our brothers “be reconciled to God.” 
Ø  For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him, that is be holy.  

GOSPEL Lk  15:1-3.11-32

*      Verses 1 to 3 provide  the  setting  for this wonderful story, parable. 
o   Jesus is surrounded by “sinners” = tax collectors and others.  
o   The Pharesees are there also, but they are not there with the same intention as the sinners. They are there to judge what Jesus is doing, Jesus who welcomes those whom they considered “lost.” 
o   Jesus in response to those feelings which they have in their hearts tells them and us this wonderful parable. In all of us we find the “sinner” and the “Pharisee that judges.”  
o   The parable of the Prodigal Son which should be called the Parable of the Good Father.  
o   This parable has different scenes which we are going to contemplate one by one. 
o   The first one: the younger son asks for his inheritance and goes away home:   
§  Give me my inheritance!  This is an insolent petition. The inheritance is received after the death of the person who leaves it.   
§  The father does not argue, he divides his possession between the two sons he has. 
§  The younger son goes away from home to a far distant country.  Distant country means a place far from home, from all that is familiar, from the love of his father. The reality is that he has always been far from home even living in it. His heart has always been far from the love of his father.  
§  Here ends the first scene.   
o   The second scene: the younger son in the foreign country and the father who waits for him.   
§  What does the son do in the far away country? What does the father do at home?  
§  The son expends all his possessions in a dissolute life, while he has money he has a lot of friends. 
§  The father at home goes to the road every day  to see if the son returns. He wants to see his son even knowing that the son does not love him.   
§  The son is out of money and loses all his friends. He feels lonely, hungry and humiliated. He feels so low and so hungry that he goes to work feeding pigs. A profession that a Jew will never have, pigs are impure animals.  In this situation he comes back to his senses and decides to do something: “I will go back….”  
§  The father keeps going to the road ….    
o   The third scene is the return home of the younger son
§  The father who goes every day to the road to see him returning, recognizes him from afar and runs to meet him. 
§  The son says to his father the words he has prepared “I have sinned… I am nor worthy… acept me as one of your workers…”  
§  The father does not allow him to finish. Quickly bring the tunic, the sandals, the ring… let us celebrate.   
§  Why? Because this son was lost and has been found, was dead and has come back to life.   
§  The celebration begins, the father is filled with joy.  
o   Last scene  – the elder brother  
§  He comes back from the fields where he has been working all day long. He hears the voices of  joy, the music, the laughter… What is this? Because sin “his son left in this house there has been only sadness.   
§  Your brother has come back, and your father is so happy to have recovered him in good health that he has kille the fatted calf and has called for a celebration.   
§  The elder son is angry, he does not want to join the celebration.  The father comes our and begs him to enter, to rejoice because his brother was dead and is alive, was lost and has been found.  “Everything that I have is yours my son. You are always with me.”  
§  We do not know If he joined the celebration, Jesus leaves us in suspense. Maybe because we are the ones who have to finish the story,  we are at the same time the younger son who sins because joyfully and the elder who sins judging and being sad. We are at the same time like the “tax collector” and the “Pharisee.” 
§  I read once a book by Henri Nouwen and he said that a friend told him to forget about being the elder or the younger son, and trying to be like the Father full of love, mercy and joy  




 On that epoch – I think eleven or ten years ago – I saw many times God our Lord as a very beautiful child, sleeping in the arms of Most Blessed Mary, I was told that this is the manner He reposed in my heart; and really, in this way it was given to me to feel God our Lord in the arms of my soul receiving the Holy Communion. What delicacies of a loving God! … Because everything was his love since He did not find in me correspondence, O, how great is my ingratitude, that I have offended so much the one who has loved me so much! Maria Antonia Paris, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 71
Besides mortifying myself in sight, hearing, speech, taste, and smell, I also strove to practice some particular acts of mortification. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I took the discipline. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I wore the cilice. If circumstances were such that I couldn't take the discipline, I would do some equivalent penance such as praying with my arms outstretched in the form of a cross or kneeling on my fingers. St. Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 411. 


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