Saturday of the Second Week of Lent




Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 235

1st Reading – MI 7:14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Verse Before The Gospel – LK 15:18

I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

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.'”

Catholic Daily Reflections

A Father’s Unwavering Love

Saint Katharine Drexel, Virgin

“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. Luke 15:22-24

In this familiar story of the Prodigal Son, we see courage in the son by choosing to return to his father. And this is significant even though the son returned primarily out of desperate need. Yes, he humbly admits his wrongs and asks his father to forgive and to treat him like one of his hired hands. But he did return! The question to answer is “Why?”

It’s fair to say that the son returned to the father, first and foremost, because he knew in his heart the goodness of his father. The father was a good father. He had shown his love and care for his son throughout his life. And even though the son rejected the father, it doesn’t change the fact that the son always knew he was loved by him. Perhaps he didn’t even realize how much he actually realized this. But it was this certain realization in his heart that gave him the courage to return to his father with hope in the father’s abiding love.

This reveals that authentic love always works. It is always effective. Even if someone rejects the holy love we offer, it always has an impact upon them. True unconditional love is hard to ignore and it’s hard to push away. The son realized this lesson and so must we.

Spend time prayerfully pondering the father’s heart. We should ponder the hurt he must have felt but also look at the constant hope he must have had as he anticipated his son’s return. We should ponder the overflowing joy in his heart as he saw his son returning from a distance. He ran to him, ordered he be well taken care of, and had a party. These things are all signs of a love that cannot be contained.

This is the love the Father in Heaven has for each of us. He is not an angry or harsh God. He is a God who longs to take us back and reconcile with us. He wishes to rejoice the moment we turn to Him in our need. Even if we are uncertain, He is certain about His love, He is always waiting for us, and deep down we all know that.

Reflect, today upon the importance of reconciling with the Father in Heaven. Lent is an ideal time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That Sacrament is this story. It’s the story of us going to the Father with our sin and Him lavishing us with His mercy. It may be frightening and intimidating to go to Confession, but if we enter into that Sacrament with honesty and sincerity, we are in for a wonderful surprise. God will run to us, lift our burdens and put them behind us. Don’t let this Lent go by without participating in this wonderful gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Father, I do sin. I have turned away from You and acted on my own. Now is the time to return to You with an open and honest heart. Give me the courage I need to embrace that love in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Thank You for Your unwavering and perfect love. Father in Heaven, Holy Spirit, and Jesus my Lord, I trust in You.

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