Fourth Sunday of Lent | iPray with the Gospel
“There was a man who had two sons; … Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.'”
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Today we celebrate Laetare Sunday: “Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her” we hear in the Entrance Antiphon. Why does the church invite us to rejoice in the middle of the penitential season of Lent? Because God has had pity on us: salvation is just around the corner!
Today we read again the beautiful parable of the ‘prodigal sons’; yes, the two brothers. We remember well the conversion of the younger one but sometimes don’t pay much attention to the conversion of the elder. That man was living in his father’s house. Probably many neighbours thought he was a good son. But he wasn’t. How can we tell? Because, even though he had everything he wanted, he wasn’t happy. He didn’t want to join a party that wasn’t ‘about him’. For this son everything was ‘me, myself, my friends, my calf…’ He was physically close to his father but his heart was miles away. Our Lord left the parable unfinished. We don’t know what the elder brother did. Inside the house he had his father, his brother and a party. Outside the house it was dark, cold and lonely. What did he choose? We don’t know, but… what would you choose?
As St. Josemaria said: “You are unhappy? — Think: there must be an obstacle between God and me. You will seldom be wrong.” Holy Mary, help me to remove the obstacles between me and God, between me and joy!
This article originally appeared on www.ipraywiththegospel.org. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © George Boronat.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).