Lenten Reflection – 31 March – “Laetare” Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year C
Joshua 5:9A, 10-12; Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion and ran and embraced him and kissed him...Luke 15:20
“I shall get up and go to my father”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church
If we do not care for this young man’s conduct, his departure horrifies us. Don’t let us ever abandon such a father! Simply the sight of the father causes sin to flee, banishes our faults, does away with all bad behaviour and temptation. Yet, if we have gone away, if we have wasted all our father’s inheritance in a life of debauchery, if we should happen to have committed some fault or misdeed or fallen into the mire of irreligiousness and complete dissipation, let us rise up for good and all and return to this best of Fathers, summoned by such a beautiful example.
“When the father saw him he ran to embrace him and covered him with kisses.” I ask you, where is there room for despair here? What pretext for excuse? What false reason for fear? Only, perhaps, if we dread meeting the father, if we are afraid of his kisses and embrace, only if we think that the father, when he takes his child by the hand, draws him to his breast and folds his arms around him, wants to seize the opportunity to make good his loss instead of welcoming in order to forgive. Such a thought, however, that destroys life and is contrary to our salvation, is fully overcome, wholly destroyed by what follows: “The father said to his servants: ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and has come to life again, he was lost and has been found.’”
When we have heard that, can we delay any longer? What more could we ask for to return to the Father?
Laetare Sunday: Be joyful!
This Sunday has a joy-filled tone.
We enter into the second part of Lent with a spirit of eagerness.
Our celebration of the mercy and life given to us in Jesus is near.
All the readings are profound.
The letter to the Ephesians can be a meditation for the week.
We have been saved by our Lord, Jesus, the Christ.
That is consoling at this part of Lent. It is not the work we do that saves us.
It is God’s love – in the midst of our darkness.
We can ask to be “lifted up” with Jesus in His surrender with the Father,
lifted up on the cross and therefore, lifted up in Glory.
And, we can express our desire to be an instrument of His consoling love,
in the hearts of those to whom He sends us.
Look to him and be radiant,
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
Loving Father of mine,
I feel the pace quicken, the time draw near.
I am filled with joy as I move toward Easter
and the promised reconciliation with You.
Teach me to follow the example of Your Son,
to be worthy of being called one His people – a Christ-ian.
Help me to live each day as He did
turning hatred to love and conflict to peace.
I await the new life with eagerness, faith
and a deep gratitude.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.