Saturday of Week 2 of Lent

Micah 7.14-15,18-20; Psalm 102; Luke 15.1-3,11-32

When Jesus was complained against for ‘welcoming sinners and eating with them’ he replied by telling three parables.  Of them probably the best known is the last, the story of a father and his two sons.

The younger one is a wastrel, a ne’er-do-well, who is so contemptuous of his father that he actively hopes for his death: he demands the inheritance he was one day meant to receive. [cf Hebrews 9.16-18] When he has worked his way through the packet of money he is given, though, he finds himself in the wretched, degrading (and un-kosher!) work of feeding pigs.

Yet the elder brother, dutiful and hard-working but seething with barely-disguised rage and resentment, reminds us that there is more than one way of showing contempt and disdain for the gifts lavished upon us.  Neither son can ‘win’ his father’s affection: love is a gift, not wage or reward.  The younger son seems to have begun to grasp that truth by the end of the story; as for his brother, we are left to hope and pray.

Posted in Daily Reflection.