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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 03-10-13, Fourth Sunday of Lent, Laetare Sunday
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 03-10-13 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 03/09/2013 8:42:28 PM PST by Salvation

March 10, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Lent

 

Reading 1 Jos 5:9a, 10-12

The LORD said to Joshua,
“Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you.”

While the Israelites were encamped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho,
they celebrated the Passover
on the evening of the fourteenth of the month.
On the day after the Passover,
they ate of the produce of the land
in the form of unleavened cakes and parched grain.
On that same day after the Passover,
on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased.
No longer was there manna for the Israelites,
who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
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 me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
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.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
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 he saved him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

reading 2 2 Cor 5:17-21

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
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.

Gospel Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable:
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered 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.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”


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1 posted on 03/09/2013 8:42:28 PM PST by Salvation
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To: All
Those in RCIA may hear these readings

March 10, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year A Scrutinies

 

Reading 1 1 Sm 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

The LORD said to Samuel:
“Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way.
I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem,
for I have chosen my king from among his sons.”

As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice,
Samuel looked at Eliab and thought,
“Surely the LORD’s anointed is here before him.”
But the LORD said to Samuel:
“Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature,
because I have rejected him.
Not as man sees does God see,
because man sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.”
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel,
but Samuel said to Jesse,
“The LORD has not chosen any one of these.”
Then Samuel asked Jesse,
“Are these all the sons you have?”
Jesse replied,
“There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said to Jesse,
“Send for him;
we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here.”
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them.
He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold
and making a splendid appearance.
The LORD said,
“There—anoint him, for this is the one!”
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand,
anointed David in the presence of his brothers;
and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23: 1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

reading 2 Eph 5:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness,
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light,
for light produces every kind of goodness
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness;
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention
the things done by them in secret;
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”

Gospel Jn 9:1-41

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned;
it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.
Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” —which means Sent—.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”
So they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
He replied,
“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes
and told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’
So I went there and washed and was able to see.”
And they said to him, “Where is he?”
He said, “I don’t know.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”

Now the Jews did not believe
that he had been blind and gained his sight
until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.
They asked them,
“Is this your son, who you say was born blind?
How does he now see?”
His parents answered and said,
“We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
We do not know how he sees now,
nor do we know who opened his eyes.
Ask him, he is of age;
he can speak for himself.”
His parents said this because they were afraid
of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed
that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ,
he would be expelled from the synagogue.
For this reason his parents said,
“He is of age; question him.”

So a second time they called the man who had been blind
and said to him, “Give God the praise!
We know that this man is a sinner.”
He replied,
“If he is a sinner, I do not know.
One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
So they said to him,
“What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?”
He answered them,
“I told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again?
Do you want to become his disciples, too?”
They ridiculed him and said,
“You are that man’s disciple;
we are disciples of Moses!
We know that God spoke to Moses,
but we do not know where this one is from.”
The man answered and said to them,
“This is what is so amazing,
that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners,
but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.
It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.
If this man were not from God,
he would not be able to do anything.”
They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him,
the one speaking with you is he.”
He said,
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.
Then Jesus said,
“I came into this world for judgment,
so that those who do not see might see,
and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this
and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”
Jesus said to them,
“If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

or Jn 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
“Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” — which means Sent —.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
“Isn’t this the one who used to sit and beg?”
Some said, “It is, “
but others said, “No, he just looks like him.”
He said, “I am.”

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
“He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see.”
So some of the Pharisees said,
“This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath.”
But others said,
“How can a sinful man do such signs?”
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
“What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?”
He said, “He is a prophet.”

They answered and said to him,
“You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?”
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
He answered and said,
“Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”
Jesus said to him,
“You have seen him, and
the one speaking with you is he.”
He said,
“I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.

2 posted on 03/09/2013 8:50:49 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

If you aren’t on this ping list NOW and would like to be on it, please Freepmail me.



3 posted on 03/09/2013 8:52:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Joshua 5:9a, 10-12

Celebration of the Passover at Gilgal


[9a] And the LORD said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of
Egypt from you.”

[10] While the people of Israel were encamped in Gilgal they kept the passover
on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. [11] And
on the morrow after the passover, on that very day, they ate of the produce of
the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. [12] And the manna ceased on
the morrow, when they ate of the produce of the land; and the people of Israel
had manna no more, but ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

5:1-9. Semitic peoples practised circumcision as an initiation rite for entry into
manhood. Israelites observed it on the eighth day after birth, and it has an emi-
nently religious meaning: it shows that the person is a member of the people of
God (cf. the notes on Gen 17:1-14 and Lev 12:1-4). It was specifically laid down
that a person had to be circumcised to be able to celebrate Passover (Ex 12:43-
49).

The reason given here for the circumcision of the people at Gilgal (that is, the
fact that the circumcision of males born during the desert years had been post-
poned) makes sense. However, the fact that the circumcising takes place at this
particular point is highly significant: it is a way of showing that this people which
has come to the gates of the promised land has attained its maturity after its
long pilgrimage in the desert. Israel truly is, after the Covenant of Sinai, a people
who belong to God.

5:10-12. Once the men have been circumcised and can celebrate the Passover,
that feast is held in the promised land for the first time. The Israelites are able to
use grain from that region to make the unleavened bread; and now that they
have access to the agricultural products of the land, they are no longer provided
with manna — the food God gave daily to them in the desert.

God was perfectly ready to provide them with miraculous food when they needed
special protection in the desert, where food of any kind was in short supply. But
once they can fend for themselves, by working the land, God ceases to give
them any special help.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 03/09/2013 8:53:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

The Ministry of Reconciliation (Continuation)


[17] Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed
away, behold, the new has come. [18] All this is from God, who through Christ
reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; [19] that is,
God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses
against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. [20] So we are
ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on
behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. [21] For our sake he made him to be sin
who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

16-17. “Even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view”: Paul
seems to be referring to knowledge based only on external appearances and on
human criteria. Paul’s Judaizing opponents do look on things from a human point
of view, as Paul himself did before his conversion. Nothing he says here can be
taken as implying that St Paul knew Jesus personally during his life on earth (he
goes on to say that now he does not know him personally); what he is saying is
that previously he judged Christ on the basis of his own Pharisee prejudices;
now, on the other hand, he knows him as God and Savior of men.

In v. 17 he elaborates on this contrast between before and after his conversion,
as happens to Christians through Baptism. For through the grace of Baptism a
person becomes a member of Christ’s body, he lives by and is “in Christ” (cf.,
e.g., Gal 6:15; Eph 2:10, 15f; Cor 3:9f); the Redemption brings about a new crea-
tion. Commenting on this passage St Thomas Aquinas reminds us that creation
is the step from non-being to being, and that in the supernatural order, after origi-
nal sin, “a new creation was necessary, whereby (creatures) would be made
with the life of grace; this truly is a creation from nothing, because those without
grace are nothing (cf. 1 Cor 13:2) [...]. St Augustine says, ‘for sin is nothingness,
and men become nothingness when they sin’” (”Commentary on 2 Cor, ad loc.”).

“The new has come”: St John Chrysostom points out the radical change which
the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ has brought about, and the consequent
difference between Judaism and Christianity: “Instead of the earthly Jerusalem,
we have received that Jerusalem which is above; and instead of a material tem-
ple we have seen a spiritual temple; instead of tablets of stone, holding the di-
vine Law, our own bodies have become the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit; instead
of circumcision, Baptism; instead of manna, the Lord’s body; instead of water
from a rock, blood from his side; instead of Moses’ or Aaron’s rod, the cross of
the Savior; instead of the promised land, the kingdom of heaven” (”Hom on 2
Cor”, 11).

18-21. The reconciliation of mankind with God—whose friendship we lost through
original sin—has been brought about by Christ’s death on the cross. Jesus, who
is like men in all things “yet without sinning” (Heb 4:14), bore the sins of men
(cf. s 53:4-12) and offered himself on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for all
those sins (cf. 1 Pet 2:22-25), thereby reconciling men to God; through this sa-
crifice we became the righteousness of God, that is, we are justified, made just
in God’s sight (cf. Rom 1:17; 3:24-26 and notes). The Church reminds us of this
in the rite of sacramental absolution: “God, the Father of mercies, through the
death and resurrection of his son has reconciled the world to himself [...].”

Our Lord entrusted the Apostles with this ministry of reconciliation (v. 18), this
“message of reconciliation” (v. 19), to pass it on to all men: elsewhere in the
New Testament it is described as the “message of salvation” (Acts 13:26), the
“word of grace” (Acts 14:3; 20:32), the “word of life” ( 1 Jn 1: 1). Thus, the Apos-
tles were our Lord’s ambassadors to men, to whom St Paul addresses a pres-
sing call: “be reconciled to God”, that is, apply to yourselves the reconciliation
obtained by Jesus Christ—which is done mainly through the sacraments of Bap-
tism and Penance. “The Lord Jesus instituted in his Church the sacrament of
Penance, so that those who have committed sins after Baptism might be recon-
ciled with God, whom they have offended, and with the Church itself whom they
have injured” (John Paul II, “Aperite Portas, 5).

21. “He made him to be sin”: obviously St Paul does not mean that Christ was
guilty of sin; he does not say “to be a sinner” but “to be sin”. “Christ had no sin,”
St Augustine says; “he bore sins, but he did not commit them” (”Enarrationes
in Psalmos”, 68, 1, 10).

According to the rite of atoning sacrifices (cf. Lev 4:24; 5:9; Num 19:9; Mic 6:7;
Ps 40:7) the word “sin”, corresponding to the Hebrew “asam”, refers to the ac-
tual act of sacrifice or to the victim being offered. Therefore, this phrase means
“he made him a victim for sin” or “a sacrifice for sin”. It should be remembered
that in the Old Testament nothing unclean or blemished could be offered to God;
the offering of an unblemished animal obtained God’s pardon for the transgres-
sion which one wanted to expiate. Since Jesus was the most perfect of victims
offered for us, he made full atonement for all sins. In the Letter to the Hebrews,
when comparing Christ’s sacrifice with that of the priests of the Old Testament,
it is expressly stated that “every priest stands daily at his service, offering re-
peatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ
had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand
of God, then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. For
by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb
10:11-14).

This concentrated sentence also echoes the Isaiah prophecy about the sacrifice
of the Servant of Yahweh; Christ, the head of the human race, makes men sha-
rers in the grace and glory he achieved through his sufferings: “upon him was the
chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed” (Is 53:5).

Jesus Christ, burdened with our sins and offering himself on the cross as a sacri-
fice for them, brought about the Redemption: the Redemption is the supreme ex-
ample both of God’s justice—which requires atonement befitting the offense — and
of his mercy, that mercy which makes him love the world so much that “he gave
his only Son” (Jn 3:16). “In the Passion and Death of Christ — in the fact that the
Father did not spare his own Son, but ‘for our sake made him sin’ — absolute jus-
tice is expressed, for Christ undergoes the Passion and Cross because of the
sins of humanity. This constitutes even a ‘superabundance’ of justice, for the sins
of man are ‘compensated for’ by the sacrifice of the Man-God. Nevertheless, this
justice, which is properly justice ‘to God’s measure’, springs completely from love,
from the love of the Father and of the Son, and completely bears fruit in love. Pre-
cisely for this reason the divine justice revealed in the Cross of Christ is to God’s
measure’, because it springs from love and is accomplished in love, producing
fruits of salvation. The divine dimension of redemption is put into effect not only
by bringing justice to bear upon sin, but also by restoring to love that creative po-
wer in man thanks to which he once more has access to the fullness of life and
holiness that come from God. In this way, redemption involves the revelation of
mercy in its fullness” (John Paul II, “Dives In Misercordia”, 7).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 03/09/2013 8:54:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Luke 15:1-3; 11-32

Parables of God’s Mercy


[1] Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him (Jesus).
[2] And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives
sinners and eats with them.”

The Prodigal Son


[3] So He told them this parable: [11] “There was a man who had two sons; [12]
and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property
that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. [13] Not many days la-
ter, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country,
and there he squandered his property in loose living. [14] And when he had spent
everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. [15]
So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent
him into his fields to feed swine. [16] And he would gladly have fed on the pods
that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. [17] But when he came to him-
self he said, ‘How can many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and
to spare, but I perish here with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and I
will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you; [19] I am
no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.’”
[20] And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance,
his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed
him. [21] And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and be-
fore you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ [22] But the father said to
his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on
his hand, and shoes on his feet; [23] and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let
us eat and make merry; [24] for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he
was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.

[25] “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the
house, he heard music and dancing. [26] And he called one of the servants and
asked what this meant. [27] And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and
your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and
sound.’ [28] But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and
entreated him, [29] but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have
served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid,
that I might make merry with my friends. [30] But when this son of yours came,
who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ [31]
And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
[32] It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and
is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-32. Jesus’ actions manifest God’s mercy: He receives sinners in order to con-
vert them. The scribes and Pharisees, who despised sinners, just cannot under-
stand why Jesus acts like this; they grumble about Him; and Jesus uses the
opportunity to tell these Mercy parables. “The Gospel writer who particularly
treats of these themes in Christ’s teaching is Luke, whose Gospel has earned
the title of ‘the Gospel of mercy’” (Bl. John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”, 3).

In this chapter St. Luke reports three of these parables in which Jesus describes
the infinite, fatherly mercy of God and His joy at the conversion of the sinner.

The Gospel teaches that no one is excluded from forgiveness and that sinners
can become beloved children of God if they repent and are converted. So much
does God desire the conversion of sinners that each of these parables ends with
a refrain, as it were, telling of the great joy in Heaven over a sinner who repents.

1-2. This is not the first time that publicans and sinners approach Jesus (cf. Mat-
thew 9:10). They are attracted by the directness of the Lord’s preaching and by
His call to self-giving and love. The Pharisees in general were jealous of His in-
fluence over the people (cf. Matthew 26:2-5; John 11:47), a jealousy which can
also beset Christians; a severity of outlook which does not accept that, no mat-
ter how great his sins may have been, a sinner can change and become a saint;
a blindness which prevents a person from recognizing and rejoicing over the good
done by others. Our Lord criticized this attitude when He replied to His disciples’
complaints about others casting out devils in His name: “Do not forbid him; for
no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon after to speak evil
of Me” (Mark 9:39). And St. Paul rejoiced that others proclaimed Christ and even
overlooked the fact they did so out of self-interest, provided Christ was preached
(cf. Philippians 1:17-18).

11. This is one of Jesus’ most beautiful parables, which teaches us once more
that God is a kind and understanding Father (cf. Matthew 6:8; Romans 8:15; 2
Corinthians 1:3). The son who asks for his part of the inheritance is a symbol of
the person who cuts himself off from God through sin. “Although the word ‘mer-
cy’ does not appear, this parable nevertheless expresses the essence of the di-
vine mercy in a particularly clear way” (Bl. John Paul II, “Dives In Misericordia”,
5).

12. “That son, who receives from the father the portion of the inheritance that is
due him and leaves home to squander it in a far country ‘in loose living’, in a cer-
tain sense is the man of every period, beginning with the one who was the first
to lose the inheritance of grace and original justice. The analogy at this point is
very wide-ranging. The parable indirectly touches upon every breach of the cove-
nant of love, every loss of grace, every sin” (”Dives In Misericordia”, 5).

14-15. At this point in the parable we are shown the unhappy effects of sin. The
young man’s hunger evokes the anxiety and emptiness a person feels when he
is far from God. The prodigal son’s predicament describes the enslavement which
sin involves (cf. Romans 1:25; 6:6; Galatians 5:1): by sinning one loses the free-
dom of the children of God (cf. Romans 8:21; Galatians 4:31; 5:13) and hands
oneself over the power of Satan.

17-21. His memory of home and his conviction that his father loves him cause
the prodigal son to reflect and to decide to set out on the right road. “Human life
is in some way a constant returning to our Father’s house. We return through
contrition, through the conversion of heart which means a desire to change, a
firm decision to improve our life and which, therefore, is expressed in sacrifice
and self-giving. We return to our Father’s house by means of that sacrament of
pardon in which, by confessing our sins, we put on Jesus Christ again and be-
come His brothers, members of God’s family” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ is Passing
By”, 64).

20-24. God always hopes for the return of the sinner; He wants him to repent.
When the young man arrives home his father does not greet him with reproaches
but with immense compassion, which causes him to embrace his son and cover
him with kisses.

20. “There is no doubt that in this simple but penetrating analogy the figure of the
father reveals to us God as Father. The conduct of the father in the parable and
his whole behavior, which manifests his internal attitude, enables us to rediscover
the individual threads of the Old Testament vision of mercy in a synthesis which
is totally new, full of simplicity and depth. The father of the prodigal son is faithful
to this fatherhood, faithful to the love that he had always lavished on his son. This
fidelity is expressed in the parable not only by his immediate readiness to wel-
come him home when he returns after having squandered his inheritance; it is ex-
pressed even more fully by that joy, that merrymaking for the squanderer after his
return, merrymaking which is so generous that it provokes the opposition and ha-
tred of the elder brother, who had never gone far away from his father and had ne-
ver abandoned the home.

“The father’s fidelity to himself [...] is at the same time expressed in a manner
particularly charged with affection. We read, in fact, that when the father saw
the prodigal son returning home ‘he had compassion, ran to meet him, threw his
arms around his neck and kissed him.’ He certainly does this under the influence
of a deep affection, and this also explains his generosity towards his son, that
generosity which so angers the elder son” (”Dives In Misericordia”, 6).

“When God runs towards us, we cannot keep silent, but with St. Paul we ex-
claim, “Abba Pater”: ‘Father, my Father!’ (Romans 8:15), for, though He is the
creator of the universe, He doesn’t mind our not using high-sounding titles, nor
worry about our not acknowledging His greatness. He wants us to call Him
Father; He wants us to savor that word, our souls filling with joy [...].

“God is waiting for us, like the father in the parable, with open arms, even though
we don’t deserve it. It doesn’t matter how great our debt is. Just like the prodigal
son, all we have to do is open our heart, to be homesick for our Father’s house,
to wonder at and rejoice in the gift which God makes us of being able to call our-
selves His children, of really being His children, even though our response to Him
has been so poor” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 64).

25-30. God’s mercy is so great that man cannot grasp it: as we can see in the
case of the elder son, who thinks his father loves the younger son excessively,
his jealousy prevents him from understanding how his father can do so much to
celebrate the recovery of the prodigal; it cuts him off from the joy that the whole
family feels. “It’s true that he was a sinner. But don’t pass so final a judgment
on him. Have pity in your heart, and don’t forget that he may yet be an Augus-
tine, while you remain just another mediocrity” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 675).

We should also consider that if God has compassion towards sinners, He must
have much much more towards those who strive to be faithful to Him. St. The-
rese of Lisieux understood this very well: “What joy to remember that our Lord
is just; that He makes allowances for all our shortcomings, and knows full well
how weak we are. What have I to fear then? Surely the God of infinite justice
who pardons the prodigal son with such mercy will be just with me ‘who am al-
ways with Him’?” (”The Story of a Soul”, Chapter 8).

32. “Mercy, as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son, has the
interior form of the love that in the New Testament is called AGAPE. This love is
able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all
to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the
object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and ‘restored to
value’. The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy, that he has been
‘found again’ and that he has ‘returned to life’. This joy indicates a good that has
remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his fa-
ther’s son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case
of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself” (”Dives In Misericor-
dia”, 6).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


6 posted on 03/09/2013 8:55:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading Joshua 5:9-12 ©
The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Today I have taken the shame of Egypt away from you.’ Hence that place has been called Gilgal until now.
  The Israelites pitched their camp at Gilgal and kept the Passover there on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening in the plain of Jericho. On the morrow of the Passover they tasted the produce of that country, unleavened bread and roasted ears of corn, that same day. From that time, from their first eating of the produce of that country, the manna stopped falling. And having manna no longer, the Israelites fed from that year onwards on what the land of Canaan yielded.

Psalm Psalm 33:2-7 ©
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
  his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
  The humble shall hear and be glad.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Glorify the Lord with me.
  Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
  from all my terrors he set me free.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Look towards him and be radiant;
  let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called, the Lord heard him
  and rescued him from all his distress.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Second reading 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ©
For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation; the old creation has gone, and now the new one is here. It is all God’s work. It was God who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the work of handing on this reconciliation. In other words, God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself, not holding men’s faults against them, and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were appealing through us, and the appeal that we make in Christ’s name is: be reconciled to God. For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God.

Gospel Acclamation Lk15:18
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
I will leave this place and go to my father and say:
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.’
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel Luke 15:1-3,11-32 ©
The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them:
  ‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
  ‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.
  ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
  ‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”
  ‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”’

7 posted on 03/09/2013 8:58:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Pray with Pope Benedict

Benedict XVI's Final General Audience
On Ash Wednesday
On God As Creator of Heaven and Earth
On Abraham's Faith
On Christ As Mediator Between God and Man
On the Incarnation
On God the Almighty Father
Year of Faith: Indulgences and Places of Pilgrimage [Ecumenical]
On the Identity of Jesus

On the Faith of Mary, the Virgin Mother of Christ
Father Cantalamessa's 1st Advent Sermon (Catholic Caucus)
On The Unfolding of God's Self-Revelation
On the Beauty of God's Plan of Salvation
On Bearing Witness to the Christian Faith
On the Splendor of God's Truth
On the Knowledge of God
Archbishop Chaput says Year of Faith holds solution to relativism
Following the Truth: The Year Of Faith – 10 Things You Should Know [Catholic Caucus]
Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced

On the Desire for God
On the Ecclesial Nature of Faith
On the Nature of Faith
Catechism's benefits explained for Year of Faith (Catholic Caucus)
A Life of Faith: Papal Theologian Speaks on the Grace of Faith
ASIA/LAOS - "Year of Faith" amid the persecutions of Christians forced to become "animists"
From no faith to a mountain-top of meaning: Father John Nepil (Catholic Caucus)
Living the Year of Faith: How Pope Benedict Wants You to Begin [Catholic Caucus]
Share Your Faith in This Year of Faith: Two keys to help you do it.
On A New Series of Audiences for The Year of Faith

Pope will deliver year-long teaching series on restoring faith
Pope Benedict XVI Grants Plenary Indulgence to Faithful [Catholic Caucus]
Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Church Calls for Public Prayers in Offices on Fridays
Highlights in the Plan for Year of Faith: Traditional Events Will Take on Special Perspective
Catholic Church calls for public prayers in offices on Fridays
Vatican Unveils Logo for Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Miami Prelate Recalls Pope's Visit to Cuba, Looks to Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
The World-Changing Year of Faith [Catholic Caucus]
Vatican to Issue Recommendations for Celebrating Year of Faith

8 posted on 03/09/2013 8:59:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Your Guide To A Catholic Lent
Following the Truth: Lent: Becoming Uncomfortable About Being Comfortable [Catholic and Open]
Following the Truth: Spiritual Exercises – Week One [of Lent] In Review
Clerical Narcissism and Lent
Content of Pope's Lenten spiritual exercises revealed
How Lent Can Make a Difference in Your Relationship with God (Ecumenical Thread)
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
A Call from the FSSP French District: offer up your Lent for Catholic Unity [Catholic Caucus]
On the 40 Days of Lent
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Christians Tailor Lent Outside Catholic Traditions
Lent, A Time to Shoulder Our Christian Responsibilities
Consecrate this Lent to Jesus through Mary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [Catholic Caucus]
Opinion: Lent for Redacted [Ekoomenikal]

Ash (or Clean) Monday - Lent Begins (for some Catholics) - February 20, 2012
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
Lent, A Time to Give from the Heart [Catholic caucus}
Learning the beatitudes during Lent -- use your Rosary to learn the Beatitutdes [Catholic Caucus]
Lenten Ember Days: March 16th, 18th, and 19th, 2011 (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Vincent Ferrer - Sermon for the First Sunday of Lent [Ecumenical]
Pope describes ‘Lenten road’ that leads to renewal
St. Andrew of Crete, Great Canon of Repentance - Tuesday's portion (Orthodox/Latin Caucus)
The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Monday's portion) [Orth/Cath Caucus]
Penance and Reparation: A Lenten Meditation(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
For Lent - Top 10 Bible Verses on Penance
Cana Sunday: Entrance into Great Lent
2011 Catechetical Homily on the opening of Holy and Great Lent
8 Ways to Pray During Lent [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Baptists, Lent, and the Rummage Sale
So What Shall We Do during These Forty Days of Lent? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Lenten Traditions (Catholic Caucus)
Are You Scrupulous? A Lenten Homily by John Cardinal O’Connor
Blow the Trumpet! Call the Assembly! The Blessings of Fasting
Lenten Challenges

Lent and the Catholic Business Professional (Interview)
Temptations Correspond to Our Vulnerabilities: Biblical Reflection for 1st Sunday of Lent
A Lenten “Weight” Loss Program
On the Lenten Season
Lent 2010: Pierce Thou My Heart, Love Crucified [Catholic Caucus]
US seminarians begin Lenten pilgrimage to Rome's ancient churches
Conversion "is going against the current" of an "illusory way of life"[Pope Benedict XVI for Lent]
vanity] Hope you all make a good Lent [Catholic Caucus]
Lent -- Easter 2010, Reflections, Prayer, Actions Day by Day
Stational Churches (Virtually visit one each day and pray)
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent!
What to Give Up (for Lent)? The List
On the Spiritual Advantages of Fasting [Pope Clement XIII]
Christ's temptation and ours (Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent)
Pope Benedict XVI Message for Lent 2010 (Feb 15 = Ash Monday & Feb 17 = Ash Wednesday)
Whatever happened to (Lenten) obligations? [Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving]Archbishop John Vlazny
Vatican Presents Lenten Website: LENT 2009
A Scriptural Way of the Cross with Meditations by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (Lenten Prayer/Devotional)
Prayer, Fasting and Mercy by St. Peter Chrysologus, Early Church Father [Catholic Caucus]
History of Lent (Did the Church always have this time before Easter?)

Beginning of Lent
Lent (Catholic Encyclopedia - Caucus Thread)
At Lent, let us pray for the Pope (converts ask us to pray for the pope)
Daily Lenten Reflections 2009
LENTEN STATIONS [Stational Churches for Lent] (Catholic Caucus)
40 Days for Life campaign is now under way (February 25 - April 5]
This Lent, live as if Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of your life
Reconciliation, forgiveness, hope – and Lent
Intro to Fast and Abstinence 101
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself (with Scriptural references)
40 Ways to Improve Your Lent
Everything Lent (Lots of links)
The Best Kind of Fasting
Getting Serious About Lent
Lent Overview
Meditations on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ [Devotional]
On Lent... and Lourdes (Benedict XVI's Angelus address)
Lent for Newbies
Lent -- 2008 -- Come and Pray Each Day
Lent: Why the Christian Must Deny Himself

Lenten Workshop [lots of ideas for all]
Lent and Reality
Forty Days (of Lent) [Devotional/Reflections]
Pope Benedict takes his own advice, plans to go on retreat for Lent
GUIDE FOR LENT - What the Catholic Church Says
Message of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2008
40 Days for Life: 2008 Campaigns [Lent Registration this week]
Vatican Web Site Focuses on Lent
Almsgiving [Lent]
Conversion Through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving [Lent]
Lenten Stations -- Stational Churches - visit each with us during Lent {Catholic Caucus}
Something New for Lent: Part I -- Holy Souls Saturdays
Reflections for Lent (February, March and April, 2007)
Lent 2007: The Love Letter Written by Pope Benedict
Pre-Lent through Easter Prayer and Reflections -- 2007
Stations of the Cross [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
For study and reflection during Lent - Mind, Heart, Soul [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Ash Wednesday and the Lenten Fast-Family observance Lenten season [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pre-Lenten Days -- Family activities-Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras)[Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
40 Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent! [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

Lenten Fasting or Feasting? [Catholic Caucus]
Pope's Message for Lent-2007
THE TRUE NATURE OF FASTING (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
The Triduum and 40 Days
The Three Practices of Lent: Praying, Fasting. Almsgiving
Why We Need Lent
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI FOR LENT 2006
Lent a Time for Renewal, Says Benedict XVI
Why You Should Celebrate Lent
Getting the Most Out of Lent
Lent: A Time to Fast >From Media and Criticism Says President of Pontifical Liturgical Institute
Give it up (making a Lenten sacrifice)
The History of Lent
The Holy Season of Lent -- Fast and Abstinence
The Holy Season of Lent -- The Stations of the Cross
Lent and Fasting
Mardi Gras' Catholic Roots [Shrove Tuesday]
Kids and Holiness: Making Lent Meaningful to Children
Ash Wednesday
All About Lent

9 posted on 03/09/2013 9:01:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
40 Days for Life: Vision and Mission, February 13 - March 24, 2013
10 posted on 03/09/2013 9:02:14 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
11 posted on 03/09/2013 9:20:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
12 posted on 03/09/2013 9:21:34 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Prayer for the Election of a New Pope

13 posted on 03/09/2013 9:22:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.


14 posted on 03/09/2013 9:23:33 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


15 posted on 03/09/2013 9:24:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

16 posted on 03/09/2013 9:25:19 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


17 posted on 03/09/2013 9:25:45 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
 
March Devotion: Saint Joseph

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII

FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

St. Joseph
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.

The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.

Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.

At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.

Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.

Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.

 

 
Prayer to St. Joseph

Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.

Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.

All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.

Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph,
pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.

Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.

Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a “Happy Death” A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph

In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Man’s Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]

Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence

St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Joseph’s Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph


Novena to Saint Joseph

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.

O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.

O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)

St. Joseph Novena

O good father Joseph! I beg you,  by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.

(Here name your petition).

Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.

(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)


18 posted on 03/09/2013 9:26:26 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

The Pope's Intentions are set up a year ahead.  By the end of March we should have a Pope who can then take ownership of these prayers.

March 2013

Pope's Intentions

Respect for Nature

 That respect for nature may grow with the awareness that all creation is God's work entrusted to human responsibility.

Clergy

That bishops, priests, and deacons may be tireless messengers of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.


19 posted on 03/09/2013 9:26:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Daily Gospel Commentary

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare) - Year C
Commentary of the day
Saint John-Mary Vianney (1786-1859), priest, curé of Ars
1st sermon on the mercy of God for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

"He was lost and has been found"

“I've made a stupid mistake in abandoning my father who so loved me; I've wasted all my gains in leading a bad life; I'm all tattered and filthy: how will my father be able to recognize his son? But I will throw myself at his feet; I will wet them with my tears; I will ask him only to count me among his servants”... His father, who for a long time had mourned his loss, seeing him coming from afar, forgot his great age and the evil life of this son of his: he threw himself on his neck to embrace him. The poor child, wholly astonished by his father's love for him, exclaimed...: “I am not worthy to be called your son, only set me amongst your servants.” - No, no, my son! cried the Father..., all is forgotten, let us think of nothing other than to rejoice. Bring him his best robe to put on...; kill the fatted calf and rejoice; for my son was dead and has come back to life, he was lost and is found”.

What a beautiful image, my brethren, of the greatness of God's mercy for the most wretched of sinners!... O my God, what a dreadful thing sin is! How can anyone commit it? Yet, wretched though we are, as soon as we make up our minds to be converted... the bowels of his mercy are moved with compassion. By his grace this gentle Savior runs before sinners; he embraces them while lavishing on them the most sweet consolations... O sweet moment! How happy we would be if we were to have the good fortune to understand it! But, alas, we do not correspond with grace and so those happy moments disappear. Jesus Christ says to the sinner by the mouth of his ministers: “Clothe this converted christian with his best robe, that is the grace of baptism which he has lost; let him be clothed with Jesus Christ, with his justice, virtues and all his merits” (cf. Gal 3,27). My brethren, see in what way Jesus Christ treats us when we have the happiness to leave sin so as to give ourselves to him. Ah, what a motive for confidence for a sinner, however guilty he may be, to know that God's mercy is infinite!


20 posted on 03/09/2013 9:29:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
From Zenit.org

The Joy of Being Sons and Daughters

Lectio Divina: 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C

The sheep rescued, the drachma found, the son pardoned, always.

Today’s Roman liturgy tells about the parable of the prodigal son and the merciful Father. In the Gospel of Luke this parable comes after the one of the lost sheep, found and carried back to the pen on the shoulders of the Good Shepherd, and the one of the drachma that was lost and was found again. (The drachma was the equivalent of a dinar that was the salary of a day of work, as we learn in the parable of the workers of the eleven hour).

The purpose of these three parables is to make us aware that our salvation comes from the fraternity of Christ, who carries us on his shoulders, from the maternity of the Church, who is always looking for us and from the paternity of God who always welcomes us.

In fact if we acquire the Body of Christ, He carries us back to the pen of communion on His shoulders, like a good and brotherly Shepherd. If we accept the maternal solicitude of the Church, who looks for us in the same way the woman was looking for her lost coin, we become part of her treasure. If we believe in the reconciliation with God who welcomes us as a loving father, God’s home become our home as his children. (Saint Ambrose, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke,XV).

The most important thing is to let us be found like the sheep and the drachma and to let us be pardoned like the prodigal son.

To do so we must bleat like the lost sheep whose cry was heard by the shepherd looking for her and who removed her from the brambles. We must be still and patient so that the mother can find us. We must have confidence in forgiveness to be able to return to the Father whose cry becomes joy. In fact what is the value of a sheep compared to a son returned to life or to a man who is saved? What is the value of a drachma compared to a sinner that regains sanctity?

The revelation of God as Father is one of the greatest novelties of the gospel of Christ. God is a Father and He loves us in the same way a father loves his children, not in the way a king loves his subjects. He gives to all their daily bread and welcomes with joy even those who have sinned when they come back to put their head on his chest. He is a merciful Father, and a King of tender compassion.

Mercy, an etymologic explanation, but not only that.

The word "mercy" is used to translate the Greek word "eleos" that we still use in the liturgy to ask for God’s forgiveness. The Greek word is the translation of the two Hebrew words hesed and rahamin. Hesed means “responsibility of one’s love” or the responsibility that comes from a commitment, from a loyalty towards oneself and consequently towards the person to whom we have made a commitment. In our case it is the responsibility that the God of the Covenant has of his own love, offered and agreed. It is a responsibility which requires the human answer but goes above and beyond the possible infidelities of mankind. Hesed is gift, loyalty and pardon.

Rahamin refers to the maternal wombs that “are moved by their own fruit”, the child and prevent the mothers from forgetting. The passage of Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you” is the most known biblical line where an attitude more than maternal is attributed to God. In general rahamin means “the tender place of a human being.” It means “to feel or to know to be an entity with the others. It describes the sense of the intimate union between a father and a mother and their child, of brothers and sisters, and of spouses”. According to Bultman – who gave this definition in Kittel-The great lexicon of the Old Testament – the simplest way to translate it would be “love”.

'

To end this etymologic parenthesis, the term eleos used by Saint Luke in his Gospel is translated with mercy. This “mercy" refers either to the grace of the Covenant and to the tenderness of paternity (maternity) of God (John Paul II's encyclical Dives in Misericordia No. 5, note 64, points out this richness of terminology).

The word “mercy’ (from the Latin misereor, I have compassion and cor, cordis, heart) which means to have the heart moved to compassion by the misery of the other, translates very well the Greek word and the two Hebrew words because it emphasizes the perennial tenderness and the loyalty of God towards his children. God is loyal. Saint Paul writes that even if we are not loyal to Him, He remains faithful to us because He cannot deny himself (2 Tm 2:13).

The experience of paternity in a family is fulfilled in the company of the children and in a discreet fidelity, always ready to intervene and vigilant towards them. What we continuously learn from the immense paternity of God with us is a faithful company to the extent of pardon. This is what Paul Claudel writes in “The tidings brought to Mary” when the old father Anne Vercors says to his daughter Violaine: "A Father’s love asks no return, and the child has no need either to win or merit it: as it was his before the beginning so it remains his blessings and his inheritance, his help, his honor, his right, his justification."

What a joy is to have a Father whose tenderness and forgiveness are a certainty. Let’s pray so that we can become aware to be the children of a Father that does not do anything else than love and pardon us.

The joy of the pardoned son and of the healed blind man.

The prodigal son didn’t come back because he was tired of taking care of pigs and of eating acorns. He was hungry for the bread of joy that only the Father could have given to him. He went back to “the truth of himself" (Dives in Misericordia No. 6) because he understood the human dignity to be a son. When he returned home his father embraced him and, putting his hands on his shoulders, blessed him welcoming him in his peace.

The soul of that errant son could not find peace in anything, his body could not rest under any tree and a heart which is always disillusioned and in search cannot find peace in any good, joy in any pleasure, happiness in any achievement. However in receiving the benediction of the Father’s forgiveness, the son who has wasted all returns home and for him the Father immediately organizes a banquet offering the best of his lambs and the bread of joy. 

Happiness comes from the experience of being loved and from the acceptance of the divine love that nobody deserves. For God our sin is not an objection to forgive us as it must not be for us to ask humbly for his mercy.

It is a forgiveness that helps us to believe and to grow in faith as it was for the blind man healed by Christ, as we read in the gospel of the Ambrosian liturgy.

Let’s identify ourselves with this blind man and let’s imagine what was the sight that opened in front of his eyes when for the first time he could see a human face, the sunlight and a new world, never imagined. He was immersed in this world but he was living in darkness. If we want to better understand the joy of the blind man who finally could see, let’s observe the toddlers who look at the world with wonder and every day discover new beauties. Let’s not suffocate in us this wonder and we will be able to live. In this regard Saint John Damascene says “Concepts creates idols, wonder creates life”

It is a life to be lived with God who offers us a covenant of love that is a bond of love that makes us happy. It is a love that has all the characteristics of every love, of a filial love by men and of a paternal love by God. It is a love of friendship because Jesus is our brother. He became our brother. It is a spousal love for God who is the groom for the Church who is the bride.

It is a life to be lived in God’s light, the spring of a happiness which is full because we experiment it in somebody not in something, in someone by whom we are loved and whom we love.

The Consecrated Virgins are an example in this answer of love. They fulfill it in a complete way in giving their life and in becoming happily icons of Christ. They are the examples of a happy consecration to truth and to love. 

The woman who is consecrated to the “Perfect Love” (Rite of the Consecration of the virgins #55) that doesn’t leave anybody without his light, and to the Life that is the drastic joy of being, responds to the task of being the living prophecy of the “kingdom” of charity to which we all are called.

* * *

Roman Rite

Jos 5:9a 10-12; Ps 34: 2Cor 5:17-21; Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

Ambrosian Rite

Sunday of the blind man

Ex 17:1-11; Ps 35; 1Thes 5:1-11; John 9:1-3b


21 posted on 03/09/2013 9:36:48 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY LK 15:1-3, 11-32
Squandered sonship restored
Fr. Jerome Magat

In November 1980, Blessed John Paul II penned a document entitled, “Dives in Misericordia,” within which he provided some of the most eloquent prose ever written on the parable of the prodigal son. Blessed John Paul concentrated a significant part of his writing on the emerging realization of squandered sonship that the prodigal son comes to as he sits in the squalor of a pigpen, contemplating his return to the father’s house.

Literally speaking, the inheritance that the son had received from his father was a quantity of material goods, but it also was emblematic of the son’s dignity as a son within his father’s house. Even as he sits in that pigpen contemplating his fall from grace and his squandered inheritance, the son is not completely aware of his squandered dignity as son. He can only concentrate on his material loss, his hunger and the possibility of being hired as a servant in the father’s house. The prodigal son measures himself by the standard of goods that he has lost — not the standard of his sonship, which is a relationship that can never be truly lost.

Blessed John Paul writes:

“It is at this point that he makes the decision: ‘I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ These are words that reveal more deeply the essential problem. Through the complex material situation in which the prodigal son found himself because of his folly, because of sin, the sense of lost dignity had matured. When he decides to return to his father's house, to ask his father to be received — no longer by virtue of his right as a son, but as an employee — at first sight he seems to be acting by reason of the hunger and poverty that he had fallen into; this motive, however, is permeated by an awareness of a deeper loss: To be a hired servant in his own father's house is certainly a great humiliation and source of shame. Nevertheless, the prodigal son is ready to undergo that humiliation and shame. He realizes that he no longer has any right except to be an employee in his father's house. His decision is taken in full consciousness of what he has deserved and of what he can still have a right to in accordance with the norms of justice. Precisely this reasoning demonstrates that, at the center of the prodigal son's consciousness, the sense of lost dignity is emerging, the sense of that dignity that springs from the relationship of the son with the father. And it is with this decision that he sets out.”

Even before his return and the dramatic reception the father gives him at the mere sight of him on the road, the prodigal son senses he has a chance for employment in the father’s house because he knows that the father is merciful. It is precisely this subconscious knowledge that motivates the son’s return. As the parable unfolds, we learn that the son is overwhelmed by his father’s love: The father wants to restore him to full sonship; not merely provide him with a warm meal, a hot bath and employment. The father has greater plans for his son, precisely because he is his son. That relationship provides the requisite hope in the son that allows him to return home. The same can be said for us: Confidence in the Father’s mercy inspires contrition and a return to the sacrament of penance to have our sonship restored.

Fr. Magat is parochial vicar of St. William of York Church in Stafford.


22 posted on 03/09/2013 9:50:43 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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The Work of God

He was lost, and is found. Catholic Gospels - Homilies - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit

Year C

 -  4th Sunday of Lent

He was lost, and is found.

He was lost, and is found. Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit Luke 15:1-3 11-32

1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable:
11 Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.' So he divided his property between them.
13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.
14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.
16 He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.
17 But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!
18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands." '
20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.
21 Then the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly, bring out a robe -- the best one -- and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;
24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!' And they began to celebrate.
25 "Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.
27 He replied, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.'
28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.
29 But he answered his father, 'Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!'
31 Then the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.' " (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

4th Sunday of Lent - He was lost, and is found. The Pharisees and the Scribes were very critical of all my activities, especially when I did not follow their customs as strictly as they expected me to. I was the perfect man, the Christ. There was something mysterious in me that they could not work out.

I was the Son of God and the Redeemer and my message was everything that they needed to hear. But because of their pride they preferred to become my enemies, so in my mission as the merciful Savior of the world, I put before them the parable of the prodigal son.

What I am trying to illustrate is the reality of the life of men. I have created human beings with great love; they have become my children. It is very tragic to see how a man leaves me and turns away from good to end up living in sin, destroying his body and soul, corrupting himself and others and wasting the talents that I have given him. He even complains about the divine providence failing him because he fails to see the damage he is doing to himself and neglects to understand the goodness of my generosity.

I am your heavenly Father, the one who does not look so much to your sins but to my goodness and mercy. I desire to forgive sinners when they repent. It is of course necessary that man abandon his evil conduct by repentance and start looking for the fountain of mercy that I have made available in my forgiveness.

When someone is living in sin, he is dead to me. When he repents and comes back to me he is alive, I rejoice with his repentance, he is welcome back as my son. For this reason I invite everyone to pray for sinners to repent so that they may also enjoy the benefits of my goodness. I am not a punitive God, I am the tender Father who has been abandoned by his children, my love is a fire burning constantly in my heart and I desire for all of you to be close to me.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


23 posted on 03/09/2013 9:54:54 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Archdiocese of Washington

There was a man who had two sons: A Homily for Laetare Sunday

By:

This is a Gospel about a man who had two sons. And both of these sons forsook their father and refused to relive in relationship with him. Although, in our mind, both sons are very different at the level of personality, one outwardly rebellious, and the other outwardly obedient, inwardly, they have a very similar struggle. In effect, neither one of them really wanted a relationship with the Father. Both, in fact, preferred what their father had, to having their Father. Both look more to what their Father could bestow, rather than to their father himself.

In the end, one son repents and finds his way to the heart of the father. Of the 2nd son, we are not so sure, for the story ends before that detail is supplied. Why does the story not end? It does not end, because the story is about you and me, and it is we who must finish the story. And the question we must answer is, What do I really want?….the consolations of God, or the God of all consolation? The gifts of God, or the giver of every good and perfect gift?

Let’s look at this gospel in four stages.

I. Renegade Son–Most of us are quite familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son. Indeed, most of us focus on the first and obviously sinful son,  more than the second son. This is interesting, because it would seem that the Lord Jesus has his focus more on the second son. For, the parable is addressed to the scribes and Pharisees who see themselves as obedient. Nevertheless, lets observed three things about this renegade son, also known as the Prodigal Son.

A. Corruption–Here is an angry son, alienated from his father. He wishes to possess what his father has, but he wants nothing to do with his father. In effect he tells his father to drop dead. Yes, in effect he says, “Old man, you’re not dying fast enough. I want my inheritance now… I want to be done with you and cash in now what is coming to me.”

His astonishing effrontery is even more astonishing given where and when it happened. For, we live in times when reverence for parents and elders is tragically lacking. But if our times are extreme, those times in the ancient Middle East where the other extreme. In telling this parable as he does Jesus shocks his listeners who lived in a culture where no son would dream to speak to his father this way. Indeed a son could be killed by his father for such insolence! Even to this day, in many parts of the Middle East, so-called “honor killings” still exist. If a child brings dishonor to the family, it is not unheard of for the father to kill such a child. And while most governments forbid such practices, in many cultures people, while not preferring such extremes, will often look the other way, and governments will seldom prosecute such inter familial killing.

Thus, for Jesus to tell such a parable must have shocked his listeners. Here was a son who did something so bold and daring as to the unthinkable, as insolent as it was insensitive, ungrateful and wicked.

So hateful is this son that he will have to go to a distant land to live.  For even if his father does not kill him, his neighbors would surely set upon him and have him stoned for such insolence.

In even more astonishing detail, the father gives him his inheritance and allows him to leave.

Here is Jesus’ description of the patience and mercy of the Father who endures even worse insolence from us, His often ungrateful children; we who demand his gifts, grasped in them with ingratitude, and want what God has, but do not want Him. More of the Father in a moment. But what we begin with the portrait the deep corruption of this renegade son.

B. Consequences–The text says that the renegade son sets off “to a distant country.” For it is always in a distant country that we dwell apart from God. And the consequences of his action are great indeed.

This parable does not make light of sin. The Lord Jesus describes well a man who chooses to live apart from God and in sinful rebellion. The result is that this renegade son lives in anguish and depravity. Once he runs out of money, he has no friends, no family, and no experience of his father.

So low is he, that ends up looking up to pigs! So awful is his state, that he becomes hungry for the disgusting mash that pigs eat. Yes,  he is lower than an unclean animal, the most unclean animal that Jews can imagine, a swine.

Let us be clear, sin debases the human person, and if it’s effects are not averted, it orients us increasingly toward depravity. What was once unthinkable, too easily becomes common fair.

St. Augustine wrote of sin’s hold on individuals in the Confessions when he said,  For of a forward will, was a lust made; and a lust served, became custom; and custom not resisted, became necessity. By which links, as it were, joined together (whence I called it a chain) a hard bondage held me enthralled. (Conf 8.5.10).

And here is what we find the renegade son locked and the consequences of his sinful choices: debased, debauched, and nearly dead.

C. Conversion–Almost miraculously the text says simply of him, “coming to his senses at last…” Too many, especially today, suffer a darkened intellect due to the debasement of their sin. And it would seem, the no matter how debased, confused, and even enslaved, many people become,  they still do not come to their senses, for their senseless minds have become darkened (cf Romans 1:21).

But thanks be to God, the renegade son does come to his senses and he says, I shall arise and go to my father! In saying that he shall arise the Greek text uses the word anistemi,  which is the same word used to describe the resurrection of Jesus. His father will later joyfully described him as having been dead, but having come back to life.

St. Paul reminds us, that we were dead in our sins, but God made us alive in Christ (cf Col 2:13). Thanks be to God for the mercy of God and for the conversion that he alone can effect in all of us, his renegade children, who ourselves have been debased, debauched and dead in our sins. The conversion of this renegade son, we pray, is also our conversion, our rising and going back to the Father.

II. Rejoicing Father–the astonishment in this parable is only just beginning, for Jesus goes on to describe a Father so merciful as to be shocking. He ascribes to the father in this parable things that no ancient father would ever do. And as he describes this ancient father, so filled with love and mercy that he casts aside personal dignity to bestow it, we must remember that Jesus is saying, “This is what my Father is like.”

As the parable unfolds we hear that the father sees the son, while he’s still a long way off. This tells us that he was looking for his son, praying for and hoping for his return.

From a human perspective, such mercy is rare, and the average earthly person who is hurt and has had their dignity scorned, is usually resentful and avoidant, saying  “Never darken my door again!”

But how shockingly different this father is, lovingly and longingly waiting for the day when his son will appear on the horizon; looking for him day after day.

The text next tells us that, when he saw his son, he ran to meet him; something no ancient noblemen would ever do. For running was a sign of being in flight, or of being a slave on some errand. Further, in order to run, the ancients who wore long garments, had to bare their their legs. And this was considered, for nobility, a disgraceful thing. Only common workers and slaves would bare their legs in order to work.

Thus, here is the portrait of a father willing to debase himself in order to run and greet his returning son. When I take one step, God takes two; nay, he comes running!

The robe and the ring are signs of family belonging, or restoration. This is the full restoration of a young man who was willing to live as a mere slave in his Father’s house. But the Father will have none of it, “You are my son! And my Son you have always been, whatever your sins. They are forgotten. You are my beloved son!”

What kind of Father is this?! No earthly Father would behave this way. This is the Heavenly Father. Jesus is saying, this is what my Father is like!

III. Resentful Son–And now we look to the brother, the other son. His sins are more subtle. Outwardly he follows his father’s rules. He does not sin in overt ways. His sins are more hidden, his struggles more subtle.

Unlike his prodigal brother, it seems he has never openly rejected his father. But inwardly, as we shall see, he is not so different from his prodigal brother.

But like his prodigal brother, he wants his father’s goods, but not really his father. To understand the subtlety of his struggle, let’s look at some of the details of the story. Let us note the following fundamental issues with the resentful son:

1. Distant–It is interesting that the last one who seems to know the existence of the feast, and the reason for it is this reason is this second son. Here is the implicit picture of a son who is far away from his father, who was unaware of the happenings in his father’s life.

Off on some far-flung area of the property, one gets the sense that he is perhaps going about his duties, which he seems to fulfill. But there is also communicated to us a sense of distance.

Did this son not know that the father worried of his brother, and was looking for him each day? It seems not! But even the lowly slaves in the household are drawn into the preparations in celebration of this great feast at the return of the renegade son. It seems that he is the only one in the whole area who knows nothing of this party, and more importantly, of his father’s joy in the return of  his brother.

Yes, the resentful son is distant,  a thousand miles away from the heart of his father.

2. Disaffected–When this resentful son discovers the feast, and the reason for it, he is sullen, angry, and resentful. He is disaffected. He stays outside of the feast, and refuses to enter it.

So bitter is his resentment that the word reaches his father in the feast who will soon emerge to plead with him. Yes, here is a bitter angry and disaffected son.

But dear reader, do not spurn or scorn him, for too easily we are him. Too easily, do we die the death of a thousand cuts when some sinner finds mercy, so quickly are we envious when someone other than ourselves is blessed. Yes, so easily we die a thousand times over!

3. Disconsolate–the father emerges from the feast to plead with his son! Again, this is unheard of in the ancient world! Every ancient father would command his son to enter the feast and expect those commands to be immediately followed.

But this father is different, for he is the heavenly Father, a Father rooted in love more than prerogatives, and privileges. He has shown already his love for his renegade son. And now he demonstrates his love for his resentful son.

The fact is, he loves both his sons. Yes, he loves you, even as he loves me.

Tragically, the resentful son is unmoved by this love. He is disconsolate, he must be confronted in his resentful anger.

4. Disrespectful–And now we see the ugly side of the apparently obedient son. He does not really love or respect his father; neither does he really know him. He disrespects him to his face. He speaks of him as a slave master saying, “I have slaved for you… I have never disobeyed any one of your orders.

Orders?!?! I have slaved for you?? Where is his love for his father? He does not see himself as a son, but as an unwilling slave, one who follows orders, merely because he has to. In effect he calls his father, to his face, a slave master, a despot.

Further, he accuses him of injustice. Somehow, he sees the mercy for the renegade son as a lack of due mercy toward himself. He considers his father unreasonable, unjust, even despicable. How dare his father show mercy to someone that he, the “obedient” son, does not think deserves it!

Calling his father an unjust slave owner and taskmaster, he disrespects him to his face. But the father, as we shall see stays in the conversation, pleading with his son to reconsider.

5. Disordered. Among the son’s complaints is that his father never even gave him a kid go to celebrate with his friends. But pay very close attention here:  the goal in life is not to celebrate with my friends, the goal in life is to celebrate with the heavenly Father.

Note how similar the resentful son is to the once renegade son. At one point, the renegade son saw his father only in terms of what his father could give him, his father was only valuable in terms of the “stuff” he could get from his father.

But for all his obedience, this second “obedient” son, this resentful son, has the same problem. He seems to value only what his father can give him. It is not his father he really loves, or knows. It is the inheritance, it is the “stuff” that really concerns him. It is not really his father he wants, or knows, or loves. It is only what his father can give him.

In this, the resentful son is disordered. He misses the whole point, which is not the things of the father, but the relationship with the father. This is the point, this is the goal in life, to live with it forever with the Father in a relationship of love.

Be very careful, before you condemn this resentful son. For, too easily he is us. It is so easy for us to want the good things of God, but not God himself. We want God’s blessings, his benefits, but not His beloved self. We want the gifts, but not the God who is the giver every good and perfect gift.

Yes, the disorder of this resentful son is too easily our disorder. There is something about our flesh that wants God to rain down blessings, but having received them, we want to run and keep our distance from any true relationship with God. For relationships are complicated and dynamic. Our flesh prefers trinkets, prefers to receive gifts on our own terms. Our flesh says give me the priceless pearls, but begone with the powerful person who gives them.

IV. Response. The Father, is outside pleading with his resentful son to enter the feast. And then, abruptly, Jesus ends the parable. Yes, the story ends! Does the resentful son enter the party or not?! Why is the story left unfinished?

Simply put, because you and I have to finish the story. For we are so easily the resentful son.

Right now, that heavenly Father is pleading with you and me to enter the feast. Too easily we can brood and say, we have our reasons for not wanting to go into the feast. After all, that renegade son is in there, and my enemy is in there. If heaven involves meeting our enemy  and celebrating with him, too easily our flesh says, “I’ll have nothing to do with it!”

And here’s the great drama, will we enter the real heaven? For the real heaven is not merely a heaven of our own making, a heaven of our own parameters. Heaven is not a “members only” place.

Am I willing to enter on God’s terms? Or will I resentfully stand outside, demanding heaven is on my terms? Further, do I see heaven as being with the Father, or is heaven merely having the “stuff” I like?

The heart of heaven is to be with the Father, to be with the Trinity. The danger with so many, even the religiously observant, is to be the resentful son. Meanwhile, the Father is pleading, pleading for us to enter the feast, pleading for us to set aside our prejudices, and our notions of exclusivity.

To the resentful son who said, “this son of yours…,” the father says, “your brother,”  yes, your brother was lost and is found, was dead, and has come back to life.”

The Father is pleading for us to enter the feast, not some made-up feast where we ourselves simply choose the attendees, but the real, and actual feast of heaven, where some surprising people may be in attendance.

Will  you enter the feast? The Father is pleading!, Saying in effect, “come in, before it’s finally time to rise and closed the door.” How we’ll answer him what is your response.

This parable is unfinished, you must finish it, I must finish it. What is your response to the Father’s pleading? Answer him!


24 posted on 03/09/2013 9:56:39 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

4th Sunday of Lent
Reading I:
Joshua 5:9-12 II: 2Cor 5:17-21
Gospel
Luke 15:1-3,11-32

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable:
11 And he said, "There was a man who had two sons;
12 and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them.
13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living.
14 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want.
15 So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything.
17 But when he came to himself he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."'
20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet;
23 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry;
24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry.
25 "Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant.
27 And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.'
28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,
29 but he answered his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!'
31 And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"


Interesting Details
  • This passage has been commonly referred to as "the prodigal son," or "the lost son." It was actually about both sons being lost in life. Both were treated very generously by the father; one took what he had and wasted it all, while the other was not even aware of how much he owned and thus not happy with the way the father treated him.
  • (v.2) This verse demonstrates the tendency of human beings to protect themselves by drawing a line between "righteous people" and "wrong people." However, we often create our own self-righteousness by making others wrong for what they did and rejecting them.
  • (v.11) Two sons: Provides a ground for comparison.
  • (v.12) The father just did, without question, what the younger son had asked of him; he had no judgment of what the son was trying to do.
  • (vv.13-16) A series of wrong actions, one leading to another. While Jews could not eat pork, joining the Gentiles to feed swine and eating their food were probably not the son's choices but rather the consequences of his earlier wrong decision for his own life.
  • (vv.17-18) "When he came to himself" means he was very present to how he had gotten himself to the current situation, thus he could clearly see the relationship with his father, as well as the generosity of this man. He instantly saw a solution.
  • (vv.20-24) The father apparently thought of nothing but the fact that the person off in the distance was his son. He had no judgment about what had happened and just wanted to welcome his son back to the full status of a son, which was symbolized by the robe, ring, and sandals.
  • (vv.28-31) The elder son blamed the father for mistreating him; he did not realize that he had an ownership of the estate and could treat himself any which way he wished.

One Main Point

Like the father in this parable, God has given each of us so much including the freedom to choose our own life, and He always knows us as His sons and daughters. When we have been on a wrong path and chosen to come back, He has no judgment of what we have done, and is always glad to take us back with love.


Reflections
  1. Seeing how the lost son found the way out for his own life, when facing an undesired situation how can I be present to my own mistake, so I can clearly see myself in my relationship with God and others? What am I to do, to put my life back to where it belongs so I no longer have to struggle?
  2. The father in this parable took his son back as if nothing had been wrong with him. Can I think of many situations in which I made someone wrong for what he or she did and then refused my love for him or her?
  3. Like the elder son, I might have judged and blamed others including God, as if they were responsible for how I feel about myself. How do I take ownership of, and become responsible for my life?

25 posted on 03/09/2013 10:02:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Fourth Sunday of Lent
First Reading:
Psalm:
Second Reading:
Gospel:
Joshua 5:9, 10-12
Psalm 34:2-7
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.

-- Gaudium et Spes


26 posted on 03/09/2013 10:05:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Just A Minute Just A Minute (Listen)
Some of EWTN's most popular hosts and guests in a collection of one minute inspirational messages. A different message each time you click.

27 posted on 03/09/2013 10:07:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All



The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 


Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen. 


28 posted on 03/09/2013 10:08:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Lætare Sunday

Lætare Sunday

Rejoice, O Jerusalem...

The Fourth Sunday of Lent is called Lætare (Rejoice) Sunday, from the first words of the liturgy [Introit] above. Since it is in the middle of Lent, like Gaudete Sunday midway through Advent, Lætare reminds us of the Event we look forward to at the end of the penitential season. As on Gaudete Sunday, rose-colored vestments may replace violet, symbolizing, the Church's joy in anticipation of the Resurrection.

In England, this Sunday is known as Mothering Sunday, a custom that arose during the Middle Ages, because the Epistle for the day said, "But Jerusalem which is above, is free, which is the mother of us all" [Galatians 4:26]. The Church is "Jerusalem which is above."

On Lætare Sunday people went to Church where they were baptized (their mother church); and visited their own mothers, as well, often bringing gifts of flowers and simnel cakes (so-called because they were made with fine white flour, or simila.) There are many different recipes for this cake, but all are fruit-cakes covered with almond paste. Mothering Sunday reminds us of the American Mother's Day, although the latter is a holiday honoring mothers which was originated in the early twentieth-century, and though similar, it is unrelated to the Lenten tradition of Mothering Sunday.

Even if we don't celebrate this day as Mothering Sunday (or maybe just don't like fruitcake!) it would be appropriate, on the "Rejoice" Sunday, to have a special treat for the Sunday meal in honor of our Mother, the Church.


Reprint from the Lent/Easter Sourcebook for Families, © 1991.


More information can be found in the Catholic Encyclopedia -- Laetare Sunday


29 posted on 03/10/2013 9:46:42 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Joy-Filled Suffering, Laetare Sunday
4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)
Laetare Sunday, the Golden Rose, Simnel Cakes, Lenten Marriage, and Mothering Sunday
WDTPRS - translation point regarding the optional rite of washing feet & Laetare Sunday
Laetare Sunday
30 posted on 03/10/2013 9:47:47 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All


Information:
Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

Feast Day: March 10
Died: 320 AD, Sebaste

31 posted on 03/10/2013 9:51:08 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. Simplicius

Feast Day: March 10
Died: 483


St. Simplicius was the son of Castinus a citizen of Tivoli in Italy and was elected to succeed St. Hilary as pope in 468. He was raised up by God to comfort and support his Church through very difficult times caused by the fall of Rome in his eighth year as pope.

Sometimes he felt that he was all alone trying to correct evils that were everywhere. Barbarians had taken over most of Italy. Even Rome itself was occupied by invaders. The people were hungry and poor and had lost all happiness. They had been taxed and robbed by former Roman officials.

Pope Simplicius tried in every way to uplift his people and to work for their good. He was always there for them, no matter how small his efforts seemed to him. And because he was holy, he never gave up. More than by words, he taught with the example of his holy life.

Besides spending his time comforting the suffering, Pope Simplicius was busy sowing the seeds of the Catholic faith among the barbarians. Like the experienced pilot he was, he guided the Church through the troubled waters of a stormy sea.

St. Simplicius suffered because some of his own Christians stubbornly held on to wrong beliefs. With great sorrow, St. Simplicius had to put them out of the Church. When he corrected people who were doing wrong, he was kind and humble.

St. Simplicius built four churches in Rome and set up many useful rules for the Church to follow during his reign. Simplicius was pope for fifteen years and eleven months. Then the Lord called him to heaven to receive the reward of his labors. St. Simplicius died in 483 and was buried in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

32 posted on 03/10/2013 9:57:03 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Catholic
Almanac:

Sunday, March 10

Liturgical Color: Violet


Pope Pius VII returned to Rome on this day in 1814. Because of his resistance to French intrusion into Church affairs, Napoleon had the Pope arrested and held in exile for 5 years. He was released when Napoleon’s empire collapsed.


33 posted on 03/10/2013 2:35:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: March 10, 2013
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Lent: March 10th

Fourth Sunday of Lent

Old Calendar: Laetare Sunday

"Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment at her consoling breasts." This Sunday is known as Laetare Sunday and is a Sunday of joy. Lent is half over, and Easter is enticingly near.

This Sunday was formerly called "Laetare Sunday" since its mood and theme was one of hope and rejoicing that Easter was near. In the reformed calendar this Sunday is not different from the other Sundays of Lent even though the entrance antiphon for the day still begins with the Latin word "laetare" and the vestments worn by the celebrant are rose-colored, not violet. The day is important because it is the day of the second scrutiny in preparation for the baptism of adults at the Easter Vigil.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Stational Church


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the book of Joshua, 5:9, 10-12. Today's reading recounts the celebration of the Passover in the Promised Land by Joshua and those who had sojourned with him in the desert for 40 years.

The second reading is from the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians, 5: 17-21. The reconciliation of mankind with God has been brought about by Christ's death on the cross. Jesus, who is like men in all things "yet without sinning" bore the sins of men and offered himself on the cross as an atoning sacrifice for all those sins, thereby reconciling men to God; through this sacrifice we became the righteousness of God.

The Gospel is from St. Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. This reading recounts the parable of the Prodigal Son, one of Jesus' most beautiful parables. It teaches us once more that God is a kind and understanding Father. The son who asks for his part of the inheritance is a symbol of the person who cuts himself off from God through sin. "Although the word 'mercy' does not appear, [this parable] nevertheless expresses the essence of the divine mercy in a particularly clear way" (John Paul II, Dives in misericordia, 5).

Mercy — as Christ has presented it in the parable of the prodigal son — has the interior form of the love that in the New Testament is called agape. This love is able to reach down to every prodigal son, to every human misery, and above all to every form of moral misery, to sin. When this happens, the person who is the object of mercy does not feel humiliated, but rather found again and 'restored to value'. The father first and foremost expresses to him his joy, that he has been 'found again' and that he has 'returned to life'. This joy indicates a good that has remained intact: even if he is a prodigal, a son does not cease to be truly his father's son; it also indicates a good that has been found again, which in the case of the prodigal son was his return to the truth about himself" (Dives in misericordia, 6).


The Station at Rome is in the basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem, one of the seven principal churches of the holy city. It was built in the fourth century, by the emperor Constantine. The emperor's mother, St. Helen, enriched it with most precious relics, and wished to make it the Jerusalem of Rome.


34 posted on 03/10/2013 3:42:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Word Among Us

Meditation: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

4th Sunday of Lent

We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

During a high school trip around the world, William Borden, the heir of the Borden Dairy Company, felt a strong call to become a missionary for the Lord. He had seen so much poverty in his travels, and he wanted to dedicate himself to reaching out to all those who were suffering. When he made that decision, Borden wrote these words in his Bible: No reserve.

After graduating from college, Borden turned down a number of lucrative job offers. All he wanted was to be an overseas missionary. When he made that decision, Borden wrote these words in his Bible: No retreat.

Shortly after having completed his ministry training, Borden traveled to Egypt. There he was struck with a fatal case of spinal meningitis and died at the age of twenty-five. When he learned of his condition, Borden wrote these words in his Bible: No regrets.

In today’s second reading, St. Paul calls himself an ambassador for Christ. He lived his life as a representative of the Lord. As such, he felt personally responsible to further the mission of the Church wherever he went and whatever he did.

William Borden was convinced to serve the Lord during a round-the-world vacation. Paul felt the call while he was persecuting the Church. Like them—and like every saint in the Church—we too are called to be ambassadors for Christ. God wants us to become his representatives as we go about our daily lives.

So Mister or Madame Ambassador, always be open and alert for your next assignment. It may come during a routine day, or it may come in the midst of a momentous event. No matter how it comes, embrace it with all your heart. Follow your assignment, and dedicate yourself to living for the glory of Jesus. Make this your motto: “No reserve, no retreat, no regret.”

“Here I am, Lord. Send me!”

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

 

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

1. In the first reading, we see the Lord ceasing to provide manna, when the Israelites were able to produce their own grain. What do you believe is the message of this passage? How does it apply to way the Lord acts in your own life?

2. The responsorial psalm invites us to “taste and see the goodness of the Lord”. What additional steps might you take—through your prayer and reception of the Eucharist—to deepen your relationship with the Lord and “be radiant with joy”?

3. In the second reading, St. Paul speaks of the change that comes over us through our relationship with Christ—in fact more than just a change, we become a wholly “new creation.” Do you believe this? Why or why not? In what ways does your life reflect the reality that you are a new creation in Christ? In what ways does it not? What can you do to make it a greater reality in your life?

4. St. Paul also tells us we are ambassadors of reconciliation. What practical steps can you take to bring reconciliation within your family or within your parish? Is there anyone that you need to be reconciled to, e.g., someone with whom you may have quarreled or harbor resentments or unforgiveness? What steps can you take to be reconciled to them (minimally, you can pray for them)?

5. In the familiar Gospel story of the prodigal son, the younger brother demands what his fathers “owes” him and then leaves? What are the circumstances in your life that can cause you to value what God can do for you more than you value a relationship of love and intimacy with him? What caused you to come to your senses?

6. In what areas of your life do you see attitudes like the older brother (e.g., lack of gratitude, lack of compassion, unforgiveness, self-righteousness)? What steps can you take to change these attitudes?

7. The meditation ends with these words: “Dedicate yourself to living for the glory of Jesus. Make this your motto: ’No reserve, no retreat, no regret.’” What do the three words of this motto mean to you? Are their some additional steps you can take during this grace-filled season of Lent that will make these words come alive—especially, as you try to live out each day “for the glory of Jesus”?

8. Take some time now to pray and ask Jesus for the grace to say yes to the call to be “ambassadors for Christ”—and to do so with “no reserve, no retreat, and no regret.” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as a starting point.


35 posted on 03/10/2013 3:50:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

HE WAS LOST, AND IS FOUND

(A biblical reflection on the 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C – March 10, 2013)

Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3,11-32 

First Reading: Josh 5:9-12; Psalms: Ps 34:2-7; Second Reading: 2Cor 5:17-21 

ANAK YANG HILANG PULANG 

Scripture Text

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 

So He told them this parable: “There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry. 

“Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heasrd music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ and he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” (Lk 15:1-3,11-32 RSV) 

ANAK YANG HILANG - 01

How important – and how difficult – that we understand our poverty before God! We do not like to admit that we need to be saved from ourselves. It can seem ironic that, in His desire to draw us closer, God will even allow us to resist Him and turn away. He knows that this may be the only way we will learn how much we need Him. The wonder is that when we do “come to our senses,” He always welcomes us home.

In the parable, the father gave his son all that he requested, knowing he did not yet know how to handle it. The man could only hope that his son would eventually return to him and accept his care. When the son did return – poverty stricken, having lived in conditions far worse than his father’s servants – this is exactly what happened. By stepping outside of the circle of his father’s protection, he subjected himself to far more pain and isolation than he expected.

We can be so like this young man! We do not like to acknowledge our poverty or our opposition to God. We “strike out on our own,” thinking all will be well, only to return to God later, begging for His touch. God allows this to occur because He wants us to know the poverty of life apart from Him. He wants us to know that only by His grace can we have freedom and peace.

Every time we separate ourselves from God and go our own way, we see what a life without His mercy is like. As we run out of our resources – spiritual, emotional, physical – we get a  glimpse of the judgment we deserve. Let us turn back to Him so that we can rejoice in our Father’s embrace as He cleanses us with the blood of Jesus and fills us with His Holy Spirit.

Short Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You today, weak and in need of Your life. Purify our hearts, fill us with the Holy Spirit, embrace us with Your love. You are wisdom and love, and only You can fill our needs. Amen.


36 posted on 03/10/2013 5:22:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

GOD’S ‘CRAZY’ LOVE

 (A biblical reflection on the 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C – 10th of March 2013)

First Reading: Josh 5:9,10-12; Psalms: Ps 34:2-7; Second Reading: 2Cor 5:17-21; Gospel Reading: Luke 15:1-3,11-32 

LUK 15 ANAK YANG HILANG KEMBALI - 02

Once there was a man who had a wife whom he loved very dearly until one day she ran off with another man and became his mistress. When the man got tired of her, he sold her into slavery. One would think that her husband gloated over the misfortune of the unfaithful wife. No. He hears of her plight as a slave, buys her back – and makes her his wife again.

“Crazy,” you might say. But as a married friend of mine once, said, “To be in love, you must be a bit crazy.” (Difficult for a celibate like me to understand!). But the man’s insane love is true. You can find his story in a most unlikely book – Old Testament: on the forgiving love of the prophet Hosea (Hos 11:1-9).

From Hosea’s hard-school of experience, the poignant message dawns on him, albeit painfully, that if Hosea could be so forgiving, how much more with God.Hosea’s personal experience is, of course, a prefigurement of God’s “crazy” love for sinners as depicted in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32).

Many Bible scholars have said that the Parable of the Prodigal Son is a misnomer. It should be called the “Parable of the Father’s Love” or of the “Prodigal Father” because the whole point of the story depicts the overwhelmingly, lavish love of the father on his errant son.

This kind of love is shown when the father reluctantly gave in to the wish of his son who insisted on his freedom by getting his inheritance and breading away from home. Although the father knew the danger that lay ahead, he let him go. This gives us an insight into God’s love: for love to be true it must be freely given; it cannot be forced.

After the profligate son had spent all his patrimony in “loose living,” He was despondent, broken, abandoned by his good-time friends.How true it is in life. As long as the money holds out, we’re surrounded by “friends.” But when the “wells run dry,” we’re left on our own.

In order to keep body and soul together, the impoverished lad had to work in a piggery feeding swine. Now this has some interesting symbolism. For the Jews pork is forbidden. Hence, to be reduced to the job of feeding swine and eating the “husks the pigs ate,” means you’re scraping the bottom of your existence.

PARABLE OF THE LOST SON

“Then he came to his senses,” the story continues. For the first time he realized what a big mistake he had made. He says to himself, “I will arise and go to my father.” So he did. While he was still a long way off, his saw him and had compassion.”

Did it ever occur to you that the father saw him even though the boy was at a great distance? It must have happened because the father had always spent a good deal of time looking down that long stretch, hoping that he would catch sight of his boy returning. Otherwise he never would have seen him until he actually had arrived and knocked at the door.

What did the father do? Did he first reprimand him to this effect, “After making a fool of yourself, you return? That should teach you a lesson, you ingrate”! Nothing of that sort. The father ran and threw his arms around him and fell on his knees and kissed him (despite the stinking smell!).

When the boy began the speech which he probably had rehearsed, the father must have covered the boy’s mouth with his hand so the words would not come out. The father would not enjoy the humiliation of the son. He cried out, “Bring quickly the best robe and put on him; and put a ring on his finger …” The ring symbolizes his son’s reinstatement to his former filial position.

The loving father in the story represents God and the wayward son is every sinner – us. Christ is saying that after even the most stupid of mistakes, the most degrading of sins, God will be looking for us and, with open arms, will take us back.

All that is needed is: awareness and acceptance of our sinfulness. Repentance and sorrow followed, and he resolved to make that journey back to his father.

Lent provides us the best opportunity to do just that – return to our “Prodigal Father.”

Note: Taken from Fr. Bel San Luis SVD, WORD ALIVE – REFLECTIONS ON THE SUNDAY GOSPEL – C CYCLE 1998, Manila, Philippines: Society of the Divine word, 1997 (second printing), pages 40-42.

37 posted on 03/10/2013 5:27:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Marriage = One Man and One Woman
Til' Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for March 10, 2013:

“The Lord does not see as humans see.” (1 Samuel 16:7) As the saying goes, “Love is blind.” God and your beloved can see beauty beneath the surface. Beyond physical appearance or prowess what invisible gift do you see in your beloved?


38 posted on 03/10/2013 5:30:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Scriiptture Sttudy

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Cycle C

Opening prayer

Joshua 5:9a, 10-12 (Ps 34:2-7) 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Overview of the Gospel:

Today’s Gospel, the parable of the prodigal son, is one of three parables (see verses 4-10) that Jesus addresses to the Pharisees who challenged him for associating w ith “tax collectors and sinners” who flocked to hear Jesus’ words (verses 1-2).

The Pharisees were a religious party of Jesus’ day who prided themselves on strictly keeping to the prescriptions of the Jewish purity laws. Many of them were undoubtedly holy men, and they were generally respected by the people for their holiness and their refusal to cooperate with the occupying Romans. Some Pharisees, however, became legalistic and judgmental in their attitude toward those who did not meet their standards. These set themselves up in opposition to Jesus and his followers. They may also have been jealous when the despised tax collectors and sinners were drawn to Jesus and his gospel of mercy.

This Sunday’s parable can more accurately called the parable of the forgiving father, since he is can be seen as the main figure in the story. Just as God the father is always ready to let us exercise our free will and go our own ways, in his mercy and compassion he is more than ready to be on the lookout for the least sign of our returning in repentance to him, and welcoming us home. As Jesus teaches earlier in this chapter, “there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:7,11).

Questions:

What stages does the younger son go through on his pilgrimage (verses 13-16)? What brings him to his senses? What does he realize then? With what sort of attitude does he approach his father? How does the father receive his son? Why?

How does the older brother feel about the younger brother’s return? Why? How does the father answer the older brother’s objections (verse 29)?

What’s Jesus’ point with this parable? What does this story teach about sin, repentance and God’s love? What does the First Reading tell us about God’s care for us and his solicitude to carry us through trials and temptations to the end?

Comparing yourself to the two brothers in this parable, who are you most like? Why? How have you experienced God as similar to this father?  Consider verse 31: What does God have to give you that you have not taken?

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 1439, 545, 1443, 2839, 2795

Closing prayer

I'm certain of this - that if my conscience were burdened with all the sins it's possible to commit, I would still go and throw myself into our Lord's arms, my heart all broken up with contrition; I know what tenderness He has for any prodigal child of His that comes back to Him. –St. Therese of Lisieux


39 posted on 03/10/2013 5:43:25 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
We Are God’s Building
Pastor’s Column
4th Sunday of Lent
 March 10, 2013
 
“You are God’s building….but each man must be careful how he builds, for no man can lay a foundation other than the one that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”   1 Corinthians 3:9,11
 
          For the last couple of weeks while I was sick, I watched from the rectory as careful site work has taken place to prepare for our new church – almost 250 stabilizers deep into the earth for earthquake protection. Now that this phase is finished, we can no longer see this work, but it remains below ground, quietly protecting all that will follow. This was necessary because the Willamette River once flowed below our land (which means lots of sand), so extra precautions must be taken.
 
          Every phase of our parish construction is in reality a spiritual journey, so what can we learn from this? First, we had to realize that extra precautions had to be taken with the site. In the same way, unless we allow the Holy Spirit to help us know ourselves we will be unable to clearly see what sorts of building projects our soul needs to prosper. Examining your life on a regular basis will clarify the most pressing needs in your own personal building project, which you and the Holy Spirit, your personal project manager, are working on together.
 
          As if to remind us of the great need we have of a new building here at Saint Eds, our handyman was up on the roof of our current building this week, when, unbeknownst to him, he reached a spot that is so decayed and full of wood rot that the roof almost caved in when he stepped on it and almost sent him plunging through! What looked so safe on the outside was actually quite rotten on the inside, like cancer. We are grateful that he is safe and that God sent us this reminder of why we have undertaken this challenging project!
         
          This week the actual outline of the new sanctuary is taking shape right before our eyes, which is both fascinating and exciting. Yet as needed as this church is, the real “church building project” is taking place in a more hidden way: in our hearts! Long after this current structure we are putting in place has turned to dust, God has all the while been constructing edifices that will last forever, that is, the temples not made by human hands: our souls.
 
          Why not invite the Holy Spirit to be your personal construction manager this year? What are the “internal stabilizers” of our personal project? The Spirit will guide us, through the church, through the scriptures, through confession, through our conscience, through others, through our life experiences to build exactly what we need to glorify God, if we are listening. If we are willing to let the Spirit act in this way, he will always work on our behalf and counteract the “sand,” that is, the sins that threaten our spiritual lives.
 
                                                                                                Father Gary

40 posted on 03/10/2013 5:54:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Paul Center Blog

Found Alive Again: Scott Hahn Reflects on the 4th Sunday of Lent

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 03.07.13 |

 
Prodigal Son close up

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.


41 posted on 03/10/2013 6:26:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
4th Sunday in Lent: Too good to be true?



Tissot
 
"Father I have sinned . . . I no longer deserve to be called your son"
 
 

Joshua 5: 9a, 10-12
2 Cor 5: 17-21
Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32

Often when reading the parables of Jesus I have wondered to myself, “this is just too good to be true.” Not that we doubt the core message of the parable but the images used to illustrate Jesus’ point seem at times so exaggerated that we may wonder, in our present day obsession for correctness, if they may be a bit over the top to be taken seriously.

For example, the story of the women caught in adultery, next Sunday’s Gospel (Jn 8: 1-11).  According to the law, the Pharisees were right in saying that she should be stoned.  There weren’t just rumors of her infidelity but they were known to be absolutely true – she was caught in the act! With mercy, Jesus simply gives her a warning to not sin again, then let’s her go on about her life.  Is that really fair – according to the law of his time? And, besides, where was her complicit partner? 

Further, this Sunday’s beautiful story (Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32) about the Prodigal son or parable of the two brothers, or parable of the forgiving father, whatever you may choose to call it, is among the most touching of all Jesus stories. Yet, what about that father? How can he be taken seriously? His selfish, greedy, “I’m entitled to this” son has the gall to wish his father dead not under his breath but right to his face! By all rights, he deserved nothing of his inheritance until his father died or at best, only a portion of it during his lifetime. It’s clear he had no intention of using the wealth for philanthropic purposes.  He planned to go off and have a great time; to throw caution, morals, and his father’s good reputation not to mention his own, to the wind. 

After all that humiliation, his father welcomes him home with a tight embrace, the finest clothes, and a party for all his friends.  Is this father a bit senile and simply clueless of the damage his son has done? What kind of father would love with such blinders on?

Well, the point of Jesus’ parable, among many points both spiritual and psychological, is that no human father would love so extravagantly.  No human father would likely be so blind and deaf to what his son had done.  But, the father in the story is not just any human father.  He is God.

The natural human tendency would be to exact justice and fairness from the son.  In the extreme a parent may wish to disown his own progeny rather than submit himself to such humiliation – “Is that your son? What kind of parent are you?”

However, this is a parable of second chances. God is hardly blind and deaf to our actions. Notice the crowd around Jesus: “Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them . . .” (Lk 15: 1-3).

In the heart of each person in this vastly diverse audience was likely a desire to find a better way of life.  What word, what image, what hope can Jesus bring?  After all, they were already labeled “tax collectors and sinners,” who found themselves among the professionally religious “Pharisees and scribes.” Then Luke tells us that Jesus addresses this story specifically to that target audience. They soon recognize they are being compared to the older son who became jealous and resentful in the face of his father’s extravagant welcome home for the younger, irresponsible son.

In this season of Lent, have you recognized at least a part of you that has wandered off and needs to come home? Let’s face it, in every one of us there is a rebellious streak which would rather do things our own way, be our own boss, and make our own decisions.  The two sons live within each of us.

So, God sometimes becomes for us a kind of insurance policy. We believe he is always there, protecting us, but we rarely give him a thought yet know that if needed he will be ready to help us so we go on our way.

Jesus reveals to us this Sunday that God is far more than a dusty policy on a shelf.  He desires a relationship with us, constantly offers us a second chance to come home, and patiently waits for us to come to our senses.  When we do, we are greeted by a Father who runs to us and rejoices in our return.  Such an act of excessive mercy may seem too good to be true – but it is.

This story assures us that when lost we can be found and that even the hardest sinners can repent.  The father (God) achingly waited for his son to come to his senses.  He didn’t go to find him but waited for his son to take responsibility. While parents never cease to love their own children, even though that love may be strained at times, God is more than a human parent with us. He calls us to this process of reconciliation.

What a golden opportunity we have in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is a sacrament of second chances but it is sad that this sacrament is so underused.  It is an opportunity for us, a place to go, a home to return to where we will find a God like the Father in this beautiful story of the wayward son.

Lent should be for us a graced time to return home.  Some have wandered far away like the younger son in the story.  But most have remained at home trying to do their best.  Still, why settle for just the minimum? Forgiveness is a powerful tool for healing of hearts, minds, and relationships.  The whole process of reconciliation is to enter in to a place of love and mercy and begin to repair damage or rebuild bridges that may have been torn down.

In the days of early Christianity, and for us many centuries later, we recognize that baptism is a sacrament of new life where we have been washed clean.  But for many that was a long time ago.  We know that we’ve soiled our garments since then. We need to set things right between ourselves and our Father God.  There is no doubt that the scene with Jesus can be a model for reconciliation.  The sinners among him, including the elder son (Pharisees and scribes,) all were invited to a second chance. “My son you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice because your brother was dead and has come back to life again . . .” (Lk 15: 30-31).

As our second reading from 2 Cor 5: 17-21 reminds us: “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold new things have come . . .”

All of this may indeed feel as if it is too good to be true; a kind of balm to soothe our consciences.  Yet, Jesus reminds time and again that our Christian faith is a faith of second chances, hope, and new life. 

The parable ends abruptly with the words of the father, “he was lost and has been found.” (Lk 15: 32). We await the reaction of the elder son.  What would you say if your brother or sister were the youngest son?  How would you react to God’s invitation for reconciliation?
O God, who through your Word
reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith
the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

(Collect for holy Mass)  

Fr. Tim

42 posted on 03/10/2013 6:37:13 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Insight Scoop

Hardships and Sonships

A Scriptural Reflection on the Readings for Sunday, March 10, 2013, the Fourth Sunday of Lent | Carl E. Olson

Readings:
Jos 5:9a, 10-12
Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
2 Cor 5:17-21
Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

“How could a loving God send people to hell?” 

It’s a question I’ve heard many times from people who balk at the claims of the Catholic Church because they believe she worships a supernatural despot intent on punishment, not love. Years ago the founder the local  “Freethinkers and Atheists’ Society” sent me a letter filled with angry attacks on the Christian God. “It must be comforting,” he wrote, “thinking that you’re going to heaven where you can look down at the billions of souls screaming and writhing in pain … consumed by flame for all of eternity, but never dying; all this courtesy of your all-compassionate and loving friend Jesus. . . . Do you find this condemnation the act of a moral god? Why would such a creature bother creating an entire system where the vast majority of his creation will spend all eternity burning in flames?”

Sadly, this is the case for many people who, for various reasons, believe God wishes to deny them happiness, fulfillment, and love. Today’s Gospel reading of the well-known parable of the Prodigal Son offers a very different perspective, which flows from the knowledge the Son has of both His Father and man’s fallen, sinful state. Seemingly simple, the parable is rich with meaning and conviction, for it captures the tension and love at the heart of human relationships while illuminating the difficulty we sometimes face in correctly understanding the mercy, justice, and love of our Heavenly Father. 

Part of the great power of Jesus’ story of the father and his two sons is how it brilliantly captures the viewpoint of each of the three men without ever losing any moral clarity. And I think that most readers can relate in some way to the desires of each man, even while recognizing that some of those desires are sinful and others are holy. For instance, we know what it is like to be rebellious and to think that God is hindering us from enjoying our lives on our terms. This is what the Catechism calls “the fascination of illusory freedom,” (CCC 1439) the belief that we can find meaning, joy, and peace apart from God. 

We also know what it is like to begrudge the joy of others, as the brother does, understanding our relationship with God in purely legalistic terms while failing to the embrace the sonship given to us in baptism. In his encyclical Dives in Misericordia, Pope John Paul II highlighted what this parable teaches about the dignity of the son who dwells in the father’s house. He points out that when the one son leaves, his greatest loss is not material, but the loss of familial life—the “tragedy of lost dignity, the awareness of squandered sonship” (par 5). Yet the son who never left had also squandered his sonship, having failed to see himself as a son first, not just an heir to material possessions.

The prodigal son, upon recognizing how far he had fallen and how he had wasted his life—his very being—on sinful pleasures, rediscovers his sonship, paradoxically, by recognizing that he is not worthy to be called a son: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.” His brother’s failure is shown not just in his anger at the feast prepared by the father, but by his refusal to address as “Father” the one who gave him life.  

Many who believe that God desires to punish them have confused the alienation caused by their rejection of God with divine anger. In exercising their free will, they miss that their freedom is a gift of love given by a merciful Father. He will not force anyone to come home; He will not make anyone embrace the gift of sonship. But He does wait, longing for the return of every lost soul “to the bosom of his family, which is the Church.” (CCC 1439).

(This "Opening the Word" column originally appeared in the March 18, 2007, edition of Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.)


43 posted on 03/10/2013 6:59:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Regnum Christi

The Peak of Divine Mercy
| SPIRITUAL LIFE | SPIRITUALITY
Fourth Sunday of Lent

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them he addressed this parable. Then he said, "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ´Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.´ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ´How many of my father´s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."´ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ´Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.´ But his father ordered 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.´ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ´Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.´ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ´Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.´ He said to him, ´My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.´"

Introductory Prayer: Jesus, I renew my lively hope, firm faith and passionate love for you in this meditation. I want to thank you for this opportunity to encounter you and spend some time with you.

Petition: O Lord, open my heart to your loving forgiveness.

1. Mercy in Abundance: The “lenient” mercy of the father in this parable is scandalous. The son has cast his inheritance to the four winds without the least hint of remorse or concern for the consequences. Yet, he forgives his son without even the slightest taint of reproach. The father’s visible outpouring of forgiveness hinges on a constant and patient benevolence. He shows his son forgiveness in word and thought. When seen solely through human eyes, this attitude is incomprehensible. However, this is God the Father’s response to the repentant sinner. This is how God treats us in confession. How marvelous it is for us that we are on the receiving end.

2. An Object of God’s Mercy: The father stayed glued to the window for countless days, unwaveringly expecting the return of his lost son. The son must have thought that he was “in for it” as he slowly made his way up that all-too-familiar footpath. Ordinarily, a father would have prepared a lengthy, scolding speech. In this parable, however, the father was quick to forgive because his love is boundless. In this parable, Jesus reveals to us the mercy that fills the paternal heart of the Heavenly Father.

3. A Lenten Treat: As we seek God’s forgiveness this Lent, we don’t have to travel far or long to discover it. The love of God is tangibly available to us in confession. Confession can be as joyful a reception as the tender embrace of the father in today’s Gospel. To make this encounter profound, the Church recommends that we prepare for the sacrament by examining our conscience, arousing in our hearts a true sorrow for the offenses committed, making a proposal to avoid sin in the future, confessing all of our sins, and fulfilling the penance that the priest gives us. In this way, the conversion the Father desires will be deeper. The Lord waits eagerly for our return. Will I meet him at the door of confession?

Conversation with Christ: Heavenly Father, too often I have failed to seek your love and mercy. Keep me close to you, in thick and thin, until we embrace and celebrate our union in heaven. Then my homecoming will be a hundred times more joyful than this prodigal son’s return. Thank you, Jesus, for your tender and merciful heart.

Resolution: I will prepare myself for the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation by doing a thorough examination of my conscience.


44 posted on 03/10/2013 7:10:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

 


<< Sunday, March 10, 2013 >> Fourth Sunday of Lent
 
Joshua 5:9-12
2 Corinthians 5:17-21

View Readings
Psalm 34:2-7
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

 

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. Luke 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).

Come back home to your heavenly Father, Who has long been looking for you (Lk 15:20). 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, the Healer of the blind and the Raiser from the dead!

45 posted on 03/10/2013 7:15:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
 
Indeed, let us pray to remove paying for the abortion of others from ANY healthcare coverage!


46 posted on 03/10/2013 7:17:36 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Reconciliation and the Prodigal Son

 

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D. on March 8, 2013 ·

“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 Cor 5:21).

Some Christians reading these words over the last few centuries have gotten the wrong idea.  They’ve put this Scripture together with Jesus’ cry from the cross “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”  Plus they’ve added to the mix the Apostle’s Creed assertion that Jesus “descended into hell.”  The result is a huge misunderstanding.

It goes something like this.  The sin of the human race called down the punishment not only of physical death and suffering but also spiritual death, total separation from God which is what  hell is all about.  Jesus bore this punishment in our place.  This means that he took our sins upon himself to the point that he actually became sinful and abhorrent to the Father.  He was thus truly abandoned by God on the cross and spent three days in hell, with the rest of the damned.

Let’s unravel this wrongheaded idea.  Last week we discussed the true significance of “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me.”  This week we need to clear up the other two misunderstandings.  First, there is 2 Cor 5:21.  In Hebrew, the same word means both “sin” and “sin offering,”   What Paul is really saying is not that Jesus became sinful, but that he became a sin offering.  This kind of sacrifice was understood as compensation or restitution to God to make up for offending him through sin.  Honor and glory that God deserved had been withheld from Him; in the sin offering, perfect, costly animals, the most valuable possessions of the typical Israelite, were paid back to God in reparation.

The Passover Lamb had to be perfect, without blemish, and his bones could not be broken (that’s why Jesus legs were not broken like the two thieves, John 19: 32-37).  Jesus did not become sinful; he was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world by canceling them out through a sacrifice of overwhelming value.  His self-offering was an extravagant gift.  It consisted of all the love, humility, and obedience that human beings owed to God but had unjustly withheld from him for centuries upon centuries.

The Father is not a blood-thirsty tyrant whose wrath is appeased by the suffering of Jesus.  He is the loving Father in the story of the Prodigal Son who respects his son’s freedom too much to force him to stay, or to send a posse after him once his sins led him to the brink of despair.

prodigal 2

The Prodigal Son walked away in arrogance.  He would himself have to travel the road back in humility.

Adam, Eve and all of us walked away in pride.  We, their sons and daughters, would have to walk back in humility.  Trouble was, we couldn’t, so deeply had we been wounded by sin.  So God became man and walked the road for us, though it turned out to be the way of the cross.  Perfect humility.  Perfect love.  Perfect suffering.  Relentless and undeterred by every conceivable stumbling block and snare that hell could put in its way.  That is what redeemed us and paid the debt of our sins.

But what about the phrase in the Apostle’s Creed “he descended into hell?”  The word used for hell means not the inferno of the damned (Gehenna), but the abode of the dead known as Sheol, Hades, or Limbo.  The meaning of this is simple– he truly experienced the separation of his soul from his body.  It was no drill.  He really died.  For us.  For me.  It was love to the bitter end.

So Jesus is the conquering hero, not the scapegoat.  His free gift of unconquerable love is what atones for our sins.  And the Fathers rushes out to meet him in love, clothing him (and us) with the resurrection.

The passion, then, is all about love.  For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son who would lay down his life for not only his friends, but even for his enemies.


47 posted on 03/11/2013 8:59:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Luke
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Luke 15
1 NOW the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him. Erant autem appropinquantes ei publicani, et peccatores ut audirent illum. ησαν δε εγγιζοντες αυτω παντες οι τελωναι και οι αμαρτωλοι ακουειν αυτου
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. Et murmurabant pharisæi, et scribæ, dicentes : Quia hic peccatores recipit, et manducat cum illis. και διεγογγυζον οι φαρισαιοι και οι γραμματεις λεγοντες οτι ουτος αμαρτωλους προσδεχεται και συνεσθιει αυτοις
3 And he spoke to them this parable, saying: Et ait ad illos parabolam istam dicens : ειπεν δε προς αυτους την παραβολην ταυτην λεγων
[...]
11 And he said: A certain man had two sons: Ait autem : Homo quidam habuit duos filios : ειπεν δε ανθρωπος τις ειχεν δυο υιους
12 And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance. et dixit adolescentior ex illis patri : Pater, da mihi portionem substantiæ, quæ me contingit. Et divisit illis substantiam. και ειπεν ο νεωτερος αυτων τω πατρι πατερ δος μοι το επιβαλλον μερος της ουσιας και διειλεν αυτοις τον βιον
13 And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously. Et non post multos dies, congregatis omnibus, adolescentior filius peregre profectus est in regionem longinquam, et ibi dissipavit substantiam suam vivendo luxuriose. και μετ ου πολλας ημερας συναγαγων απαντα ο νεωτερος υιος απεδημησεν εις χωραν μακραν και εκει διεσκορπισεν την ουσιαν αυτου ζων ασωτως
14 And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. Et postquam omnia consummasset, facta est fames valida in regione illa, et ipse cœpit egere. δαπανησαντος δε αυτου παντα εγενετο λιμος ισχυρος κατα την χωραν εκεινην και αυτος ηρξατο υστερεισθαι
15 And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine. Et abiit, et adhæsit uni civium regionis illius : et misit illum in villam suam ut pasceret porcos. και πορευθεις εκολληθη ενι των πολιτων της χωρας εκεινης και επεμψεν αυτον εις τους αγρους αυτου βοσκειν χοιρους
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. Et cupiebat implere ventrem suum de siliquis, quas porci manducabant : et nemo illi dabat. και επεθυμει γεμισαι την κοιλιαν αυτου απο των κερατιων ων ησθιον οι χοιροι και ουδεις εδιδου αυτω
17 And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger? In se autem reversus, dixit : Quanti mercenarii in domo patris mei abundant panibus, ego autem hic fame pereo ! εις εαυτον δε ελθων ειπεν ποσοι μισθιοι του πατρος μου περισσευουσιν αρτων εγω δε λιμω απολλυμαι
18 I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee: surgam, et ibo ad patrem meum, et dicam ei : Pater, peccavi in cælum, et coram te : αναστας πορευσομαι προς τον πατερα μου και ερω αυτω πατερ ημαρτον εις τον ουρανον και ενωπιον σου
19 I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. jam non sum dignus vocari filius tuus : fac me sicut unum de mercenariis tuis. και ουκετι ειμι αξιος κληθηναι υιος σου ποιησον με ως ενα των μισθιων σου
20 And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him. Et surgens venit ad patrem suum. Cum autem adhuc longe esset, vidit illum pater ipsius, et misericordia motus est, et accurrens cecidit super collum ejus, et osculatus est eum. και αναστας ηλθεν προς τον πατερα αυτου ετι δε αυτου μακραν απεχοντος ειδεν αυτον ο πατηρ αυτου και εσπλαγχνισθη και δραμων επεπεσεν επι τον τραχηλον αυτου και κατεφιλησεν αυτον
21 And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son. Dixitque ei filius : Pater, peccavi in cælum, et coram te : jam non sum dignus vocari filius tuus. ειπεν δε αυτω ο υιος πατερ ημαρτον εις τον ουρανον και ενωπιον σου και ουκετι ειμι αξιος κληθηναι υιος σου
22 And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: Dixit autem pater ad servos suos : Cito proferte stolam primam, et induite illum, et date annulum in manum ejus, et calceamenta in pedes ejus : ειπεν δε ο πατηρ προς τους δουλους αυτου εξενεγκατε την στολην την πρωτην και ενδυσατε αυτον και δοτε δακτυλιον εις την χειρα αυτου και υποδηματα εις τους ποδας
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry: et adducite vitulum saginatum, et occidite, et manducemus, et epulemur : και ενεγκαντες τον μοσχον τον σιτευτον θυσατε και φαγοντες ευφρανθωμεν
24 Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. quia hic filius meus mortuus erat, et revixit : perierat, et inventus est. Et cœperunt epulari. οτι ουτος ο υιος μου νεκρος ην και ανεζησεν και απολωλως ην και ευρεθη και ηρξαντο ευφραινεσθαι
25 Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing: Erat autem filius ejus senior in agro : et cum veniret, et appropinquaret domui, audivit symphoniam et chorum : ην δε ο υιος αυτου ο πρεσβυτερος εν αγρω και ως ερχομενος ηγγισεν τη οικια ηκουσεν συμφωνιας και χορων
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. et vocavit unum de servis, et interrogavit quid hæc essent. και προσκαλεσαμενος ενα των παιδων επυνθανετο τι ειη ταυτα
27 And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe. Isque dixit illi : Frater tuus venit, et occidit pater tuus vitulum saginatum, quia salvum illum recepit. ο δε ειπεν αυτω οτι ο αδελφος σου ηκει και εθυσεν ο πατηρ σου τον μοσχον τον σιτευτον οτι υγιαινοντα αυτον απελαβεν
28 And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him. Indignatus est autem, et nolebat introire. Pater ergo illius egressus, cœpit rogare illum. ωργισθη δε και ουκ ηθελεν εισελθειν ο ουν πατηρ αυτου εξελθων παρεκαλει αυτον
29 And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends: At ille respondens, dixit patri suo : Ecce tot annis servio tibi, et numquam mandatum tuum præterivi : et numquam dedisti mihi hædum ut cum amicis meis epularer. ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν τω πατρι ιδου τοσαυτα ετη δουλευω σοι και ουδεποτε εντολην σου παρηλθον και εμοι ουδεποτε εδωκας εριφον ινα μετα των φιλων μου ευφρανθω
30 But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. Sed postquam filius tuus hic, qui devoravit substantiam suam cum meretricibus, venit, occidisti illi vitulum saginatum. οτε δε ο υιος σου ουτος ο καταφαγων σου τον βιον μετα πορνων ηλθεν εθυσας αυτω τον μοσχον τον σιτευτον
31 But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine. At ipse dixit illi : Fili, tu semper mecum es, et omnia mea tua sunt : ο δε ειπεν αυτω τεκνον συ παντοτε μετ εμου ει και παντα τα εμα σα εστιν
32 But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found. epulari autem, et gaudere oportebat, quia frater tuus hic mortuus erat, et revixit ; perierat, et inventus est. ευφρανθηναι δε και χαρηναι εδει οτι ο αδελφος σου ουτος νεκρος ην και ανεζησεν και απολωλως ην και ευρεθη

48 posted on 03/16/2013 8:13:31 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Then drew near to him all the Publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.
3. And he spoke this parable to them, saying,


AMBROSE; You had learnt by what went before not to be occupied by the business of this world, not to prefer transitory things to eternal. But because the frailty of man can not keep a firm step in so slippery a world, the good Physician has shown you a remedy even after falling; the merciful Judge has not denied the hope of pardon; hence it is added, Then drew near to him all the publicans.

GLOSS. That is, those who collect or farm the public taxes, and who make a business of following after worldly gain.

THEOPHYL. For this was His wont, for the sake whereof He had taken upon Him the flesh, to receive sinners as the physician those that are sick. But the Pharisees, the really guilty, returned murmurs for this act of mercy, as it follows, And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, &c.

GREG, From which we may gather, that true justice feels compassion, false justice scorn, although the just are wont rightly to repel sinners. But there is one act proceeding from the swelling of pride, another from the zeal for discipline. For the just, though without they spare not rebukes for the sake of discipline, within cherish sweetness from charity. In their own minds they set above themselves those whom they correct, whereby they keep both them under by discipline, and themselves by humility. But, on the contrary, they who from false justice are wont to pride themselves, despise all others, and never in mercy condescend to the weak; and thinking themselves not to be sinners, are so much the worse sinners. Of such were the Pharisees, who condemning our Lord because He received sinners, with parched hearts reviled the very fountain of mercy. But because they were so sick that they knew not of their sickness, to the end that they might know what they were, the heavenly Physician answers them with mild applications. For it follows, And he spoke this parable to them, saying What man of you having a hundred sheep, and if he lose one of them, does not go after it, &c. He gave a comparison which man might recognize in himself; though it referred to the Creator of men. For since a hundred is a perfect number, He Himself had a hundred sheep, seeing that He possessed the nature of the holy angels and men. Hence he adds, Having a hundred sheep.

11. And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12. And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that fails to me. And he divided to them his living.
13. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave to him.

AMBROSE; St. Luke has given three parables successively; the sheep which was lost and found, the piece of silver which was lost and found, the son who was dead and came to life again, in order that invited by a threefold remedy, we might heal our wounds. Christ as the Shepherd bears you on His own body, the Church as the woman seeks for thee, God as the Father receives you, the first, pity, the second, intercession, the third, reconciliation.

CHRYS. There is also in the above-mentioned parable a rule of distinction with reference to the characters or dispositions of the sinners. The father receives his penitent son, exercising the freedom of his will, so as to know from whence he had fallen; and the shepherd seeks for the sheep that wanders and knows not how to return, and carries it on his shoulders, comparing to an irrational animal the foolish man, who, taken by another's guile, had wandered like a sheep. This parable is then set forth as follows; But he said, A certain man had two sons. There are some who say of these two sons, that the elder is the angels, but the younger, man, who departed on a long journey, when he fell from heaven and paradise to earth; and they adapt what follows with reference to the fall or condition of Adam. This interpretation seems indeed a lenient one, but I know not if it be true. For the younger son came to repentance of his own accord, remembering the past plenty of his father's house, but the Lord coming called the race of man to repentance, because he saw that to return of their own accord to whence they had fallen had never been in their thoughts; and the elder son is vexed at the return and safety of his brother, whereas the Lord says, There is joy in heaven over one sinner repenting.

CYRIL; But some say that by the elder son is signified Israel according to the flesh, but by the other who left his father, the multitude of the Gentiles.

AUG. This man then having two sons is understood to be God having two nations, as if they were two roots of the human race; and the one composed of those who have remained in the worship of God, the other, of those who have ever deserted God to worship idols. From the very beginning then of the creation of mankind the elder son has reference to the worship of the one God, but the younger seeks that the part of the substance which fell to him should be given him by his father. Hence it follows, And the younger of them said to his father, Give me the portion of goods which falls to me; just as the soul delighted with its own power seeks that which belongs to it, to live, to understand, to remember, to excel in quickness of intellect, all which are the gifts of God, but it has received them in its own power by free will. Hence it follows, And he divided to them his substance.

THEOPHYL. The substance of man is the capacity of reason which is accompanied by free will, and in like manner whatever God has given us shall be accounted for our substance, as the heaven, the earth, and universal nature, the Law and the Prophets.

AMBROSE; Now you see that the Divine patrimony is given to them that seek; nor think it wrong in the father that he gave it to the younger, for no age is weak in the kingdom of God; faith is not weighed down by years. He at least counted himself sufficient who asked, And I wish he had not departed from his father, nor had the hindrance of age. For it follows, And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country.

CHRYS. The younger son set out into a distant country, not locally departing from God, who is every where present, but in heart. For the sinner flees from God that he may stand afar off.

AUG. Whoever wishes to be so like to God as to ascribe his strength to Him, let him not depart from Him, but rather cleave to Him that he may preserve the likeness and image in which he was made. But if he perversely wishes to imitate God, that as God has no one by whom He is governed, so should he desire to exercise his own power as to live under no rules, what remains for him but that having lost all heat he should grow cold and senseless, and, departing from truth, vanish away.

AUG. But that which is said to have taken place not many days after, namely, that gathering all together he set out abroad into a far country, which is forgetfulness of God, signifies that not long after the institution of the human race, the soul of man chose of its free will to take with it a certain power of its nature, and to desert Him by whom it was created, trusting in its own strength, which it wastes the more rapidly as it has abandoned Him who gave it. Hence it follows, And there wasted his substance in riotous living. But he calls a riotous or prodigal life one that loves to spend and lavish itself with outward show, while exhausting itself within, since every one follows those things which pass on to something else, and forsakes Him who is closest to himself. As it follows, And when he had spent all, there arose a great famine in that land. The famine is the want of the word of truth.

It follows, And he began to be in want. Fitly did he begin to be in want who abandoned the treasures of the wisdom and the knowledge of God, and the unfathomableness of the heavenly riches.

It follows, And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country.

AUG. One of the citizens of that country was a certain prince of the air belonging to the army of the devil, whose fields signify the manner of his power, concerning which it follows, And he sent him into the field to feed swine. The swine are the unclean spirits which are under him.

BEDE; But to feed swine is to work those things in which the unclean spirits delight. It follows, And he would have filled his belly with the husks which the swine did eat. The husk is a sort of bean, empty within, soft outside, by which the body is not refreshed, but filled, so that it rather loads than nourishes.

AUG. The husks then with which the swine were fed are the teaching of the world, which cries loudly of vanity; according to which in various prose and verse men repeat the praises of the idols, and fables belonging to the gods of the Gentiles, wherewith the devils are delighted. Hence when he would fain have filled himself, he wished to find therein something stable and upright which might relate to a happy life, and he could not; as it follows, And no one gave to him.

CYRIL; But since the Jews are frequently reproved in holy Scripture for their many crimes, how agree with this people the words of the elder son, saying, Lo, these many years do I serve you, neither transgressed at any time your commandment. This then is the meaning of the parable. The Pharisees and Scribes reproved Him because He received sinners; He set forth the parable in which He calls God the man who is the father of the two sons, (that is, the righteous and the sinners,) of whom the first degree is of the righteous who follow righteousness from the beginning, the second is of those men who are brought back by repentance to righteousness.

BASIL; Besides, it belongs more to the character of the aged to have an old man's mind and gravity, than his hairs, nor is he blamed who is young in age, but it is the young in habits who lives according to his passions.

TIT. BOST. The younger son then went away not yet matured in mind, and seeks from his father the part of his inheritance which fell to him, that in truth he might not serve of necessity. For we are rational animals endowed with free will.

CHRYS. Now the Scripture says, that the father divided equally between his two sons his substance, that is, the knowledge of good and evil, which is a true and everlasting possession to the soul that uses it well. The substance of reason which flows from God to men at their earliest birth, is given equally to all who come into this world, but after the intercourse that follows, each one is found to possess more or less of the substance; since one believing that which he has received to be from his father, preserves it as his patrimony, another abuses it as something that may be wasted away, by the liberty of his own possession. But the freedom of will is shown in that the father neither kept back the son who wished to depart, nor forced the other to go that desired to remain, lest he should seem rather the author of the evil that followed. But the youngest son went afar off, not by changing his place, but by turning aside his heart. Hence it follows, He took a journey into a far country.

AMBROSE; For what is more afar off than to depart from one's self, to be separate not by country but by habits. For he who severs himself from Christ is an exile from his country, and a citizen of this world. Fitly then does he waste his patrimony who departs from the Church.

TIT. BOST. Hence too was the prodigal denominated one who wasted his substance, that is, his right understanding, the teaching of chastity, the knowledge of the truth, the recollections of his father, the sense of creation.

AMBROSE; Now there came to pass in that country a famine not of food but of good works and virtues, which is the more wretched fast. For he who departs from the word of God is hungry, because man does not live on bread alone, but on every word of God. And he who departs from his treasures is in want. Therefore began he to be in want and to suffer hunger, because nothing satisfies a prodigal mind. He went away therefore, and attached himself to one of the citizens. For he who is attached, is in a snare. And that citizen seems to lee a prince of the world. Lastly, he is sent to his farm which he bought who excused himself from the kingdom.

BEDE; For to be sent to the farm is to be enthralled by the desire of worldly substance.

AMBROSE; But he feeds those swine into whom the devil sought to enter, living in filth and pollution.

THEOPHYL. There then he feeds, who surpassed others in vice, such as are panders, arch-robbers, arch-publicans, who teach others their abominable works.

CHRYS. Or he who is destitute of spiritual riches, as wisdom and understanding, is said to feed swine, that is, to nourish in his soul sordid and unclean thoughts, and he devours the material food of evil conversation, sweet indeed to him who lacks good works, because every work of carnal pleasure seems sweet to the depraved, while it inwardly unnerves and destroys the powers of the soul. Food of this kind, as being swines' food and hurtfully sweet, that is, the allurements of fleshly delights, the Scripture describes by the name of husks.

AMBROSE; But he desired to fill his belly with the husks. For the sensual care for nothing else but to fill their bellies.

THEOPHYL. To whom no one gives a sufficiency of evil; for he is afar from God who lives on such things, and the devils do their best that a satiety of evil should never come.

GLOSS. Or no one gave to him, because when the devil makes any one his own, he procures no further abundance for him, knowing him to be dead.

17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before you,
19. And am no more worthy to be called your son: make me as one of your hired servants.
20. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son.
22. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

GREG. NYSS.. The younger son had despised his father when first he departed, and had wasted his father's money. But when in course of time he was broken down by hardship, having become a hired servant, and eating the same food with the swine, he returned, chastened, to his father's house. Hence it is said, And when be came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, but I perish with hunger.

AMBROSE; He rightly returns to himself, because he departed from himself. For he who returns to God restores himself to himself, and he who departs from Christ rejects himself from himself.

AUG. But he returned to himself, when from those things which without unprofitably entice and seduce, he brought back his mind to the inward recesses of his conscience.

BASIL; There are three different distinct kinds of obedience. For either from fear of punishment we avoid evil and are servilely disposed; or looking to the gain of a reward we perform what is commanded, like to mercenaries; or we obey the law for the sake of good itself and our love to Him who gave it, and so savor of the mind of children.

AMBROSE; For the son who has the pledge of the Holy Spirit in his heart seeks not the gain of an earthly reward, but preserves the right of an heir. These are also good husbandmen, to whom the vineyard is let out. They abound not in husks, but bread.

AUG. But whence could he know this who had that great forgetfulness of God, which exists in all idolaters, unless it was the reflection of one returning to his right understanding, when the Gospel was preached. Already might such a soul see that many preach the truth, among whom there were some not led by the love of the truth itself, but the desire of getting worldly profit, who yet do not preach another Gospel like the heretics. Therefore are they rightly called mercenaries. For in the same house there are men who handle the same bread of the word, yet are not called to an eternal inheritance, but hire themselves for a temporal reward.

CHRYS. After that he had suffered in a foreign land all such things as the wicked deserve, constrained by the necessity of his misfortunes, that is, by hunger and want, he becomes sensible of what had been his ruin, who through fault of his own will had thrown himself from his father to strangers, from home to exile, from riches to want, from abundance and luxury to famine; and he significantly adds, But I am here perishing with hunger, As though he said; I am not a stranger, but the son of a good father, and the brother of an obedient son; I who am free and noble am become more wretched than the hired servants, sunk from the highest eminence of exalted rank, to the lowest degradations.

GREG. NYSS.. But he returned not to his former happiness before that coming to himself he had experienced the presence of overpowering bitterness, and resolved the words of repentance, which are added, I will arise.

AUG. For he was lying down. And I will go, for he was a long way off To my father, because he was under a master of swine But the other words are those of one meditating repentance in confession of sin, but not yet working it. For he does not now speak to his father, but promises that he will speak when he shall come. You must understand then that this "coming to the father" must now be taken for being established in the Church by faith, where there may yet be a lawful and effectual confession of sins. He says then that he will say to his father, Father.

AMBROSE; How merciful! He, though offended, disdains not to hear the name of Father. I have sinned; this is the first confession of sin to the Author of nature, the Ruler of mercy, the Judge of faith. But though God knows all things, He yet waits for the voice of your confession. For with the mouth confession is made to salvation, since he lightens the load of error, who himself throws the weight upon himself, and shuts out the hatred of accusation, who anticipates the accuser by confessing. In vain would you hide from Him whom nothing escapes; and you may safely discover what you know to be already known. Confess the rather that Christ may intercede for thee, the Church plead for you, the people weep over you: nor fear that you will not obtain; your Advocate promises pardon, your Patron favor, your Deliverer promises you the reconciliation of your Father's affection. But he adds, Against heaven and before you.

CHRYS. When he says, Before you, he shows that this father c must be understood as God. For God alone beholds all things, from Whom neither the simple thoughts of the heart can be hidden.

AUG. But whether was this sin against heaven, the same as that which is before you; so that he described by you name of heaven his father's supremacy. I have sinned against heaven, i.e. before the souls of the saints; but before you in the very sanctuary of my conscience.

CHRYS. Or by heaven in this place may be understood Christ. For he who sins against heaven, which although above us is yet a visible element, is the same as he who sins against man, whom the Son of God took into Himself for our salvation.

AMBROSE; Or by these words are signified the heavenly gifts of the Spirit impaired by the sin of the soul, or because from the bosom of his mother Jerusalem which is in heaven, he ought never to depart. But being cast down, he must by no means exalt himself. Hence he adds, I am no more worthy to be called your son. And that he might be raised up by the merit of his humility, he adds, Make me as one of your hired, servants.

BEDE; To the affection of a son, who doubts not that all things which are his father's are his, he by no means lays claim, but desires the condition of a hired servant, as now about to serve for a reward. But he admits that not even this could he deserve except by his father's approbation.

GREG. NYSS.. Now this prodigal son, the Holy Spirit has engraved upon our hearts, that we may be instructed how we ought to deplore the sins of our soul.

CHRYS. Who after that he said, I will go to my father, (which brought all good things,) tarried not, but took the whole journey; for it follows, And he arose, and came to his father. Let us do likewise, and not be wearied with the length of the way, for if we are willing, the return will become swift and easy, provided that we desert sin, which led us out from our father's house. But the father pities those who return. For it is added, And when he was yet afar off.

AUG. For before that he perceived God afar off, when he was yet piously seeking him, his father saw him. For the ungodly and proud, God is well said not to see, as not having them 'before his eyes. For men are not commonly said to be before the eyes of any one except those who are beloved.

CHRYS. Now the father perceiving his penitence did not wait to receive the words of his confession, but anticipates his supplication, and had compassion on him, as it is added, and was moved with pity.

GREG. NYSS.. His meditating confession so won his father to him, that he went out to meet him, and kissed his neck; for it follows, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. This signifies the yoke of reason imposed on the mouth of man by Evangelical tradition, which annulled the observance of the law.

CHRYS. For what else means it that he ran, but that we through the hindrance of our sins cannot by our own virtue reach to God. But because God is able to come to the weak, he fell on his neck. The mouth is kissed, as that from which has proceeded the confession of the penitent, springing from the heart, which the father gladly received.

AMBROSE; He runs then to meet you, because He hears you within meditating the secrets of your heart, and when you were yet afar off, He runs lest any one should stop Him. He embraces also, (for in the running there is foreknowledge, in the embrace mercy,) and as if by a certain impulse of paternal affection, falls upon your neck, that he may raise up him that is cast down, and bring back again to heaven him that was loaded with sins and bent down to the earth. I had rather then be a son than a sheep. For the sheep is found by the shepherd, the son is honored by the father.

AUG. Or running he fell upon his neck; because the Father abandoned not His Only-Begotten Son, in whom He has ever been running after our distant wanderings. For God, was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. But to fall upon his neck is to lower to his embrace His own Arm, which is the Lord Jesus Christ. But to be comforted by the word of God's grace to the hope of pardon of our sins, this is to return after a long journey to obtain from a father the kiss of love. But already planted in the Church, he begins to confess his sins, nor says be all that he promised he would say. For it follows, And his son said to him, &c. He wishes that to be done by grace, of which he confesses himself unworthy by any merits of his own. He does not add what he had said, when meditating beforehand, Make me as one of your hired servants. For when he had not bread, he desired to be even a hired servant, which after the kiss of his father he now most nobly disdained.

CHRYS. The father does not direct his words to his son, but speaks to his steward, for he who repents, prays indeed, but receives no answer in word, yet beholds mercy effectual in operation. For it follows, But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him.

THEOPHYL. By the servants (or angels) you may understand administering spirits, or priests who by baptism and the word of teaching clothe the soul with Christ Himself. For as many of us as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ.

AUG. Or the best robe is the dignity which Adam lost; the servants who bring it are the preachers of reconciliation.

AMBROSE; Or the robe is the cloak of wisdom, by which the Apostle covers the nakedness of the body. But he received the best wisdom; for there is one wisdom which knew not the mystery. The ring is the seal of our unfeigned faith, and the impression of truth; concerning which it follows, And put a ring on his hand.

BEDE; That is, his working, that by works faith may shine forth, and by faith his works be strengthened.

AUG. Or the ring on the hand is a pledge of the Holy Spirit, because of the' participation of grace, which is well signified by the finger.

CHRYS. Or he orders the ring to be given, which is the symbol of the seal of salvation, or rather the badge of betrothment, and pledge of the nuptials with which Christ espouses His Church. Since the soul that recovers is united by this ring of faith to Christ.

AUG. But the shoes on the feet are the preparation for preaching the Gospel, in order not to touch earthly things.

CHRYS. Or he bids them put shoes on his feet, either for the sake of covering the soles of his feet that he may is walk firm along the slippery path of the world, or for the mortification of his members. For the course of our life is called in the Scriptures a foot, and a kind of mortification takes place in shoes; inasmuch as they are made of the skins of dead animals. He adds also, that the fatted calf must be frilled for the celebration of the feast. For it follows, And bring the fatted calf, that is, the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he calls a calf, because of the sacrifice of a body without spot; but he called it fatted, because it is rich and costly, inasmuch as it is sufficient for the salvation of the whole world. But the Father did not Himself sacrifice the calf, but gave it to be sacrificed to others. For the Father permitting, the Son consenting thereto by men was crucified.

AUG. Or, the fatted calf is our Lord Himself in the flesh loaded with insults. But in that the Father commands them to bring it, what else is this but that they preach Him, and by declaring Him cause to revive, yet unconsumed by hunger, the bowels of the hungry son? He also bids them kill Him, alluding to His death. For He is then killed to each man who believes Him slain. It follows, And let us eat.

AMBROSE; Rightly the flesh of the calf, because it is the priestly victim which was offered for sin. But he introduces him feasting, when he says, Be merry; to show that the food of the Father is our salvation; the joy of the Father the redemption of our sins.

CHRYS. For the father himself rejoices in the return of his son, and feasts on the calf, because the Creator, rejoicing in the acquisition of a believing people, feasts on the fruit of His mercy by the sacrifice of His Son. Hence it follows, For this my son was dead, and is alive again.

AMBROSE; He is dead who was. Therefore the Gentiles are not, the Christian is. Here however might be understood one individual of the human race; Adam was, and in him we all were. Adam perished, and in him we all have perished. Man shell is restored in that Man who has died. It might also seem to be spoken of one working repentance, because he dies not who has not at one time lived. And the Gentiles indeed when they have believed are made alive again by grace. But he who has fallen recovers by repentance.

THEOPHYL. As then with respect to the condition of his sins, he had been despaired of; so in regard to human nature, which is changeable and can be turned from vice to virtue, he is said to be lost. For it is less to be lost than to die. But every one who is recalled and turned from sin, partaking of the fatted calf, becomes an occasion of joy to his father and his servants, that is, the angels and priests. Hence it follows, And they all began to be merry.

AUG. Those banquets are now celebrated, the Church being enlarged and extended throughout the whole world. For that calf in our Lord's body and blood is both offered up to the Father, and feeds the whole house.

25. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27. And he said to him, your brother is come; and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.
28. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.
29. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve you, neither transgressed I at any time your commandment: and yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30. But as soon as this your son was come, which has devoured your living with harlots, you have killed for him the fatted calf.
31. And he said to him, Son, you are ever with me, and all that I have is yours.
32. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this your brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

BEDE; While the Scribes and Pharisees were murmuring about His receiving sinners, our Savior put three parables to them successively. In the two first He hints at the joy He has with the angels in the salvation of penitents. But in the third He not only declares His own joy and that of His angels, but He also blames the murmurings of those who were envious. For He says, Now his elder son was in the field.

AUG. The elder son is the people of Israel, not indeed gone into a distant country, yet not in the house, but in the field, that is, in the paternal wealth of the Law and the Prophets, choosing to work earthly things. But coming from the field he began to draw nigh to the house, that is, the labor of his servile works being condemned by the same Scriptures, he was looking upon the liberty of the Church. Whence it follows; And as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing; that is, men filled with the Holy Spirit, with harmonious voices preaching the Gospel.

It follows, And he called one of the servants, &c. that is, he takes one of the prophets to read, and as he searches in it, asks in a manner, why are those feasts celebrated in the Church at which he finds himself present? His Father's servant, the prophet, answers him.

For it follows; And he said to him, your brother is come, &c. As if he should say, your brother was in the farthest parts of the earth, but hence the greater rejoicing of those who sing a new song, because His praise is from the end of the earth; and for his sake who was afar off, was slain the Man who knows how to bear our infirmities, for they who have not been told of Him have seen Him.

AMBROSE; But the younger son, that is the Gentile people, is envied by Israel as the elder brother, the privilege of his father's blessing. Which the Jews did because Christ sat down to meat with the Gentiles, as it follows; And he was angry, and would not go in, &c.

AUG. He is angry even also now, and still is unwilling to enter. When then the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in, His father will go out at the fit time that all Israel also may be saved, as it follows, therefore came his father out and entreated him. For there shall be at some time an open calling of the Jews to the salvation of the Gospel. Which manifestation of calling he calls the going out of the father to entreat the elder son. Next the answer of the elder son involves two questions; for it follows, And he answering said to his father, Lo these many years do I serve you, either transgressed I at any time your commandment. With respect to the commandment not transgressed, it at once occurs, that it was not spoken of every command, but of that most essential one, that is, that he was seen to worship no other God but one, the Creator of all. Nor is that son to be understood to represent all Israelites, but those who have never turned from God to idols. For although he might desire earthly things, yet sought he them from God alone, though in common with sinners. Hence it is said, I was as a beast before you, and I am always with you. But who is the kid which he never received to make merry upon? for it follows, You never gave me a kid, &c. Under the name of a kid the sinner may be signified.

AMBROSE; The Jew requires a kid, the Christian a lamb, and therefore is Barabbas released to them, to us a lamb is sacrificed. Which thing also is seen in the kid, because the Jews have lost the ancient rite of sacrifice. Or they who seek for a kid wait for Antichrist.

AUG. But I do not see the object of this interpretation, for it is very absurd for him to whom it is afterwards said, You are ever with me, to have wished for this from his father, i.e. to believe in Antichrist. Nor altogether can we rightly understand any of the Jews who are to believe in Antichrist to be that son.

And how could he feast upon that kid which is Antichrist who did not believe in him? But if to feast upon the slain kid, is the same as to rejoice at the destruction of Antichrist, how does the son whom the father did not entertain say that this was never given him, seeing that all the sons will rejoice at his destruction? His complaint then is, that the Lord Himself was denied him to feast upon, because he deems Him a sinner. For since He is a kid to that nation which regards Him as a violator and profaner of the Sabbath, it was not meet that they should be made merry at his banquet. But his words with my friends are understood according to the relation of the chiefs with the people, or of the people of Jerusalem with the other nations of Judea.

JEROME; Or he says, You never gave me a kid, that is, no blood of prophet or priest has delivered us from the Roman power.

AMBROSE; Now the shameless son is like to the Pharisee justifying himself. Because he had kept the law in the letter, he wickedly accused his brother for having wasted his father's substance with harlots. For it follows, But as soon as this your son is come, who has devoured your living, &c.

AUG. The harlots are the superstitions of the Gentiles, with whom he wastes his substance, who having left the true marriage of the true God, goes a whoring after evil spirits from foul desire.

JEROME; Now in that which he says, You have killed for him the fatted calf, he confesses that Christ has come, but envy has no wish to be saved.

AUG. But the father does not rebuke him as a liar, but commending his steadfastness with him invites him to the perfection of a better and happier rejoicing. Hence it follows, But he said to him, Son, you are ever with me.

JEROME; Or after having said, "This is boasting, not truth," the father does not agree with him, but restrains him in another way, saying, You are with me, by the law under which you are bound; not as though he had not sinned, but because God continually drew him back by chastening. Nor is it wonderful that he lies to his father who hates his brother.

AMBROSE; But the kind father was still desirous to save him, saying, You are ever with me, either as a Jew in the law, or as the righteous man in communion with Him.

AUG. But what means he that he adds, And all that I have is yours, as if they were not his brother's also? But it is thus that all things are looked at by perfect and immortal children, that each is the possession of all, and all of each. For as desire obtains nothing without want, so charity nothing with w ant. But how all things? Must then God be supposed to have subjected the angels also to the possession of such a son? If you so take possession as that the possessor of a thing is its lord, certainly not all things. For we shall not be the lords, but the companions of angels. Again, if possession is thus understood, how do we rightly say that our souls possess truth? I see no reason why we may not truly and properly say so. For we do not so speak as to call our souls the mistresses of truth. Or if by the term possession we are hindered from this sense, let that also be set aside. For the father says not, "You possess all things," but All that I have is yours, still not as if you were its lord. For that which is our property may be either food for our families, or ornament, or something of the kind. And surely, when he can rightly call his father his own, I do not see why he may not also rightly call his own what belongs to his father, only in different ways. For when we shall have obtained that blessedness, the higher things will be ours to look upon, equal things ours to have fellowship with, the lower things ours to rule. Let then the elder brother join most safely in the rejoicing.

AMBROSE; For if he ceases to envy, he will feel all things to be his, either as the Jew possessing the sacraments of the Old Testament, or as a baptized person those of the New also.

THEOPHYL. Or to take the whole differently; the character of the son who seems to complain is put for all those who are offended at the sudden advances and salvation of the perfect, as David introduces one who took offense at the peace of sinners.

TIT. BOST. The elder son then as a husbandmen was engaged in husbandry, digging not the land, but the field of the soul, and planting trees of salvation, that is to say, the virtues.

THEOPHYL. Or he was in the field, that is, in the world, pampering his own flesh, that he might be filled with bread, and sowing in tears that he might reap in joy, but when he found what was being done, he was unwilling to enter into the common joy.

CHRYS. But it is asked, whether one who grieves at the prosperity of others is affected by the passion of envy. We must answer, that no Saint grieves at such things; but rather looks upon the good things of others as his own. Now we must not take every thing contained in the parable literally, but bringing out the weaning which the author had in view, search for nothing farther. This parable then was written to the end that sinners should not despair of returning, knowing that they shall obtain great things. Therefore he introduces others so troubled at these good things as to be consumed with envy, but those who return, treated with such great honor as to become themselves an object of envy to others.

THEOPHYL. Or by this parable our Lord reproves the will of the Pharisees, whom according to the argument he terms just, as if to say, Let it be that you are truly just, having transgressed none of the commandments, must we then for this reason refuse to admit those who turn away from their iniquities?

JEROME; Or, in another way, all justice in comparison of the justice of God is injustice. Therefore Paul says, Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? and hence were the Apostles moved with anger at the request of the sons of Zebedee.

CYRIL; We also ourselves sometimes; for some live a most excellent and perfect life, another ofttime even in his old age is converted to God, or perhaps when just about to close his last day, through God's mercy washes away his guilt. But this mercy some men reject from restless timidity of mind, not counting upon the will of our Savior, who rejoices in the salvation of those who are perishing.

THEOPHYL. The son then says to the father, For nothing I left a life of sorrow, ever harassed by sinners who were my enemies, and never have you for my sake ordered a kid to be slain, (that is, a sinner who persecuted me,) that I might enjoy myself for a little. Such a kid was Ahab to Elijah, who said, Lord, they have killed your prophets.

AMBROSE; Or else, This brother is described so as to be said to come from the farm, that is, engaged in worldly occupations, so ignorant of the things of the Spirit of God, as at last to complain that a kid had never been slain for him. For not for envy, but for the pardon of the world, was the Lamb sacrificed. The envious seeks a kid, the innocent a lamb, to be sacrificed for it. Therefore also is he called the elder, because a man soon grows old through envy. Therefore too he stands without, because his malice excludes him; therefore could he not hear the dancing and music, that is, not the wanton fascinations of the stage, but the harmonious song of a people, resounding with the sweet pleasantness of joy for a sinner saved. For they who seem to themselves righteous are angry when pardon is granted to one confessing his sins. Who are you that speak against your Lord, that he should not, for example, forgive a fault, when you pardon whom you will? But we ought to favor forgiving sin after repentance, lest while grudging pardon to another, we ourselves obtain it not from our Lord. Let us not envy those who return from a distant country, seeing that we ourselves also were afar off.

Catena Aurea Luke 15
49 posted on 03/16/2013 8:14:07 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Frans Francken II

1633
Oil on wood, 61 x 86 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

50 posted on 03/16/2013 8:14:29 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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