Micah 7: 14-15; 18-20
Luke 15: 1-3; 11-32
Today’s Gospel is so familiar that we may have an automatic brain switch which says ‘switch off, I know this.’ Familiarity may mean that we miss the point and avoid the question, how does this Gospel speak to me in my context today?
As a Church, we have been invited and exhorted to journey on a synodal path. This requires us to live in a new way, to be open and to listen to one another. It involves letting go, and this scripture invites us to let go of attitudes that are not life-giving.
We might ask ourselves which of the three characters in the Gospel we identify with.
- The Father, who is always waiting and looking out for us.
- The younger son, who has previously wished his father dead when he asked prematurely for his inheritance but is now seeking shelter in his vulnerability?
- The elder brother, who dutifully stayed home but is resentful of his father’s love and generosity to his brother.
I might also ask
- What gifts I have been freely gifted and wasted?
- Is there a hardness in me towards those who don’t meet my standards?
- Is there someone in my life who needs forgiveness from me?
- Can I rejoice in another’s joy?
If I am to live into the essence of this parable, I need to acknowledge my own vulnerability with humility. I need to acknowledge if I am open to the unconditional and overwhelming love of God and if I really believe that this unconditional love is for all without exception.
With Edwina Gately ‘let us dare to believe that we are capable of acts of love and compassion. But first, we must be vulnerable. We must acknowledge and accept our own fear and insecurity before the enormous task of transformation.’
We are on a journey, and we are being shepherded by our God, and we are being led to pastures new. As we journey towards the Kingdom of God, let us find joy on the journey in one another, be open to surprise and willing to join the celebration.
Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,