Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Readings: Micah 7: 14-15, 18-20; Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32
“Then Jesus said, ‘There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.”’ (Luke 15:11-12)
The catalyst for the story of the Prodigal son was the accusation that Jesus associated with the ‘wrong people’. The prevailing idea was that God is not interested in such people. And so, Jesus tells us a story … a man had two sons.
In telling a story, Jesus did not seek to argue with his accusers to convince them to broaden their view of God. Arguments have little impact when people already have their minds made up. In those circumstances, there are only two things that can work: experience and story. Here Jesus uses story. We get engaged in the story and only gradually realise that we, and our views, are being challenged.
What was so challenging about the view of God Jesus portrays here? It is to do with the shocking thought that God can forgive anything. To see this, we have to realise just how appallingly the younger son had behaved. His arrogance and an over-inflated sense of entitlement are enough to take your breath away. Yet he is forgiven because he is genuinely repentant.
Forgiveness can be an experience that we wish for (and perhaps even expect) for ourselves, while sometimes hoping it is not received by those who have hurt us. That God can forgive even these things can challenge us to our very core. If God can forgive anyone anything, what does that say about what we are called to do?
Reflection by Shane Dwyer.
Reproduced with permission from Evangelisation Brisbane, an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane, who have kindly supplied these daily Lenten 2021 reflections from their publication Look to Jesus: 52 Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter.