Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Almost always I find myself lost in thought when I read or hear proclaimed the amazing parable of the "prodigal son." There is so much richness; so many applications that pertain to my own life and ministry as a Passionist. The compassion and mercy of the wonderful father is incomparable, only not really. For he mirrors for us the very love of God in Heaven!
This time, however, interestingly, I found myself caught up with words from the very first reading from the prophet Micah, when he declares,
"Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt and
pardons sin? You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins."
In these words I found a kind of summary of our entire Lenten experience, especially at this time when ponzi schemes are revealed, when greed seems to be so pervasive, and when the innocent suffer at the hands of those who have done wrong. Through all of this, dear friends, I continue to see my own sinfulness and realize that healing and a return to a more intense love must begin first within myself in spite of what others have done. It is I who must stand humbly before God and be full of amazement at his amazing mercy. It is I who must trust in his incomparable love, just like the father in our parable. Who can love us like our God? And who can love us so much that his greatest delight is to cast even our shame, our guilt, and our sinfulness into the depths of the sea?
Fr. Pat Brennan, CP is the director of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California.