Pastor’s Desk – Fourth Sunday of Lent

Today we have the familiar story of the two sons and the forgiving father. One of the sons decided to get what he could from his father so that he could go off and enjoy life now. The kind and loving father who does not want to stand in the way of his son’s happiness or interfere in his life gives him the money and so he heads off. All seems to go well for the man who is surrounded by his new found friends who help him to squander all his money very quickly and it is soon gone. He is now penniless and taking care of pigs who have more to eat than he does. He eventually comes to his senses and decides to go back to his father and ask his forgiveness.

When he arrives home the father sees him and welcomes him with open arms and is overjoyed that the son he thought he had lost forever has now returned. He decides to hold a banquet in his honour much to the dismay of the son who stayed loyal and continued to help his father with the work on their land. The father is quick to point out to this faithful son that he loves him just as much and is grateful for all his hard work and loyalty.

There are be lots of similarities between this story and our own lives. God our loving father invites each one of us to recognise our sinfulness and return to ask his forgiveness so that he can embrace us with the same joy that the father did in today’s gospel story. This gospel tells us what coming home to God is really like.

Fr. Gerry