Our readings this Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, speak of coming home. St Paul in our second reading speaks of Jesus appealing to us to be reconciled with God. The Jews, after their wanderings in the desert after leaving Egypt and being sustained through the manna from God have returned home and stand at the threshold of Israel where they eat from what their new land, Canaan, provides them. They are no longer nomads in the desert but have come home to their promised land.

Our Gospel for this Sunday also speaks of a coming home. It is the familiar story of the Prodigal Son. But all too often, we forget why it was that Jesus spoke this parable to the Pharisees and Scribes. You’ll recall that they had exclaimed that ‘This man’, Jesus, ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them’. Jesus is accused of being welcoming and eating with those he welcomes. I think this is a key to understanding the correct focus of this Parable. You see, the one who does the welcoming and “eating with” in the parable is the Father.

Let’s consider the image of the Father, which is the image of God that Jesus shares with us.

Join Fr Matthew Charlesworth SJ as he reflects on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent.

Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts:
Joshua 5:9a, 10–12; Psalm 34:2–7; 2 Corinthians 5:17–21; Luke 15:1–3, 11–32.

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