Archive for March 9, 2013

March 10th 2013 – 4th Sunday of Lent

Posted: March 9, 2013 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Sunday Bible Reflections with Dr. Scott Hahn

Found Alive Again

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


 

In today’s First Reading, God forgives “the reproach” of the generations who grumbled against Him after the Exodus. On the threshold of the promised land, Israel can with a clean heart celebrate the Passover, the feast of God’s first-born son (see Joshua 5:6-7; Exodus 4:22; 12:12-13).

Reconciliation is also at the heart of the story Jesus tells in today’s Gospel. The story of the prodigal son is the story of Israel and of the human race. But it is also the story of every believer.

In Baptism, we’re given a divine birthright, made “a new creation,” as Paul puts it in today’s Epistle. But when we sin, we’re like the prodigal, quitting our Father’s house, squandering our inheritance in trying to live without Him.

Lost in sin, we cut ourselves off from the grace of sonship lavished upon us in Baptism. It is still possible for us to come to our senses, make our way back to the Father, as the prodigal does.

But only He can remove the reproach, restore the divine sonship we have spurned. Only He can free us from the slavery to sin that causes us – like the prodigal –  to see God not as our Father but as our master, One we serve as slaves.

God wants not slaves but children. Like the father in today’s Gospel, He longs to call each of us “My son,” to share His life with us, to tell us: “Everything I have is yours.”

The Father’s words of longing and compassion still come to His prodigal children in the Sacrament of Penance. This is part of what Paul today calls “the ministry of reconciliation” entrusted by Jesus to the Apostles and the Church.

Reconciled like Israel, we take our place at the table of the Eucharist, the homecoming banquet the Father calls for His lost sons, the new Passover we celebrate this side of heaven. We taste the goodness of the Lord, as we sing in today’s Psalm, rejoicing that we who were dead are found alive again.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 9, 2013 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

phariseentaxcollector

Do we come before God full of ourselves? First glorifying ourselves for our many achievements so that God our ageing Father may see more clearly and recognise them? Then do we offer Him praise and Glory from our surplus? And in righteousness do we remember to point out our neighbours sins in case God might have missed out on them? Do we think ourselves rich though we have nothing? (Pr 13:7)

Or do we humble ourselves before the Lord our God, approaching the fountain of life thirsty with cup empty? Sorrowful for offending our loving Father by our sins? (A humble contrite spirit, a humble contrite heart you will not spurn. Ps 51:17) Praise and Glorifying Him alone for His infinite goodness? Patiently awaiting to eat His bread and drink His cup so that we may have the true life in us?  

How has prayer life progressed in our lives? Has it progressed at all? Have we moved from simply praying for ourselves, to praying for our family? Have we progressed from praying for our families to praying for our friends? Have we progressed from praying for our friends to praying for our community? Have we progressed from praying for our community to praying for strangers in the world? Have we listened more than we speak in prayer? Have we prayed less for ourselves trusting fully in God’s providence? Do we pray daily to do His will for us?

Gospel

Luke 18:9-14

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”