“Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.”
Joshua 5:9a. 10-12
II Corinthians 5:17-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
by Sister Judith Bloxham, OSB
In the first reading for this Sunday, the Old Testament Book of Joshua focuses on the people of God, the Israelites, who are now finally entering the “promised land” where they now may eat all the food produced in this land. We may not have entered the promised land of heaven yet, but we are fed with “food,” from heaven in the Eucharist.
St Paul reminds us, in his letter to the Corinthians that in Christ, the Father’s Son, the world, and we ourselves, have been reconciled. Further, we are given the ministry of reconciliation and are called to be “ambassadors for Christ.”
On this the Fourth Sunday of Lent, if we go to celebrate the Eucharist at our local parish, we may find ourselves listening to a different Gospel reading if there are catechumens present who are preparing for Baptism and entrance into the Church community this Easter. However, I encourage you to read and pray with the Gospel Reading from Luke 15. You may read it and smile, “Oh yes, the story of the Prodigal Son.” I would encourage you to reflect on this reading, seeing yourself as the prodigal son or daughter. I suggest you recall those times when you have experienced Our Father’s mercy and love in your own life, whether you are prodigal or just trying to really believe deep down in your heart that God, as Father, really does love you beyond one’s human understanding.
Perhaps, only when we grow in understanding this, can we really try and live out the Scripture admonition: “Love one another as I have loved you.” In what ways can we reveal the presence of the Lord living within our hearts and lives? May this awareness bring us to the heightened ways we demonstrate love for one another.
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“(the Abbot) is to imitate the loving example of the Good Shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep in the mountains and went in search of the one sheep that had strayed. So great was his compassion for its weakness that he mercifully placed it on his sacred shoulders and so carried it back to his flock. (Luke 15:5)” Chapter 27, Verse 8-9
“I will get up and go to my Father and shall say to him:
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” Luke 15:18