Message from Fr Joe (27/03/2022)

4th Sunday of Lent

Dear Parishioners,

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY to all our mothers. They gave us life, nurtured, sustained and protect us always. Have a wonderful day!

SCRIPTURE: 1st Reading (Josh: 5:9-12) The Israelites are free at last from the slavery in Egypt and are able to celebrate the Passover in a new land.

St Paul: (2 Cor. 5:17-21) Jesus Christ has brought about a reconciliation between God and humanity. It is our task, as Church and followers to bring these benefits to all people.

Gospel: (Lk. 15: 1-3, 11-32) The parable of the prodigal son shows that God is merciful and delights in repentant sinners.

This parable of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known and loved of all Jesus’ parables. It’s good to keep in mind the other characters in the story. There is no mention of the mother of both sons. The father never gave up on his wayward son. We may feel sorry for the brother who remained at home faithful and working hard.

The younger son went away, squandered all his inheritance and just made a mess of his life. He realises how stupid he was and resolves to return home and become a servant. He knew he didn’t deserve any family benefits. But his father had other ideas! Every single day the father would go looking in the horizon to see if his son might return home. He never stopped loving him. He deserved to be punished – he knew that and even asked for it. Yet punishment was the last thing he needed! Neither did he need to be taught a lesson – a life of misery had taught him that.

He was welcomed home with open arms by his father. His brother has a real problem with this welcome. He is resentful. He is feeling very sorry for himself. Jesus doesn’t tell us the outcome.

It is all about God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is not cold, calculated or half-hearted, but warm, welcoming and generous. God doesn’t just forgive us; he loves us and wants us to know that. The story doesn’t give us a licence to sin, but it shows us that when we fail through human weakness, stupidity, wickedness or selfishness, we can repent and ask for God’s mercy. This mercy is given to us freely. We have a mandate from Jesus to share his mercy and forgiveness. Let us carry it out, not just talk about it.

Keeping Safe: Some people are asking, when we will get rid of masks in the church. I do not know. But we all know that Covid is still with us (as in my case). I would like to believe that all coming to worship at St John Vianney would be as safe as we can possibly be. So let us continue as we are for the present, please.

HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY AGAIN!    God bless! Fr Joe

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