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Sunday, March 31, 2019

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

Joshua 5:9-12
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Psalm 34:2-7
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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lenten rebellion and repentance

"For our sakes God made Him Who did not know sin, to be sin, so that in Him we might become the very holiness of God." —2 Corinthians 5:21

St. Luke is the only Evangelist who includes the parable of the prodigal son. He was also the only Gentile Christian to author a Gospel. Most of us reading this reflection are also gentile (non-Jewish) Christians; possibly we feel a special connection to this Gospel. Sadly, we assuredly relate to this parable as representative of many dysfunctional families in our midst. "The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.' So the father divided up the property. Some days later this younger son collected all his belongings and went off to a distant land, where he squandered his money on dissolute living" (Lk 15:12-13). We may not be anticipating a large inheritance, but selfishness and self-centeredness run rampant in our culture. How many of us have insulted both our fathers and our Father along the way?

As baptized Christians, however, there is no need to lose heart. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new!" (2 Cor 5:17; cf Rv 21:5) As Catholics, we are blessed to have the Sacrament of Reconciliation. "All this has been done by God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor 5:18; cf Mt 16:19).

Let us come back home to our heavenly Father, Who has long been looking for us (Lk 15:20). Let us repent and cause all heaven to rejoice! (Lk 15:7, 10)

Prayer:  "I will break away and return to my Father" (Lk 15:18).

Promise:  "I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears." —Ps 34:5

Praise:  Praise Jesus, Healer of the ill and Raiser from the dead!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 24, 2018

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