Surprise Party!

We humans tend to act out of a contractual frame of mind, that is, we give with expectations of equal return. For example, an expensive gift requires an expensive gift in return; or, if we invite friends to dinner, we expect to be invited back. Forgiveness and mercy, however, must arise from a different frame of mind because they are purely gratuitous. The embrace of a merciful father is undeserved yet fully and freely given. [Living Liturgy 2010]

While we may call this parable “The Prodigal Son’, in fact it is about a prodigal father. It is the father who first reaches out and then puts aside all convention and lavishly receives the son back into the family. This is how God acts toward us. This parable reminds us that God offers us much more.

If we choose to die to self and return to God, we are greeted with forgiveness and feasting. We are welcomed back and transformed sharing in divine life.

Receiving God’s forgiveness and mercy and offering the same to another is how we pass from Wednesday ashes to Easter feasting. 

Adapted Living Liturgy 2010

Musical Reflection