The Parable of the Prodigal Son – Celebration of God’s Mercy

In the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.

Opening Hymn:
O word of God Come into this space;
O word of God come send us your grace.

Open our minds show us your truth; Transform our lives a new.  

Introduction: Lenten Journey is a season of grace, time of prayer and spiritual renewal. This fourth week of lent we reflect on the parable of the prodigal son and our response to God's love. Let us open our hearts and minds to God's forgiveness, healing and mercy.

Let us pray: Loving God, you give us this Lenten journey, a time of prayer and renewal. Let these sacred days be a time when we seek and find you with in each of us. Make this time of Lent a time to listen to your voice and be guided by your spirit. We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So to them Jesus addressed this parable: "A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, 'Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizen who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers. So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.' He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.

The Gospel of the Lord - Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflections; Upon hearing the story of the Prodigal Son, we often think of the compassionate father waiting at the gate or the desperate son planning his confession in advance. What we might fail to notice is how the older son so lost in his anger and resentful attitude. Who do you usually relate in this parable of the Prodigal son? Why? Please share, any word or phrase or thought that inspires you from this Gospel reading.

Lent is a time of Prayer, We share in the paschal mystery, in the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. Let us pray for charity, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing and renewal.

  1. For the Church: that we may be faithful children of God and remain single-minded in seeking to do God's will we pray to the Lord - Lord, create a new spirit in us.
  2. For a spirit of conversion: the Spirit will guide us in surrendering our weaknesses to God and helping us turn more fully toward God and the path of the Gospel - Lord, create a new spirit in us
  3. For new understanding: that we may recognize God's love for us is not based on our deeds or achievements but on God's free and generous choice. - Lord, create a new spirit in us
  4. For freedom from our resentments: that we may surrender our hurts and resentments to God who calls us to reconciliation and freedom. - Lord, create a new spirit in us
  5. For all who are struggling with life; for those who are in fear or darkness, for those who have lost meaning or hope: that God's light may lead their life, we pray to the Lord- Lord, create a new spirit in us.

(Time for personal intentions)

Prayer - Our Father

Closing Prayer: God of mercy, we journey with Jesus during this Lenten season with the certain hope that you will renew each of us as your true disciples.  Call us out of the wilderness of selfishness and indifference. Help us to reach out to those who do not know hope or love by being your messengers of love, kindness and mercy, we ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen. 

Closing Hymn:
O word of God Come into this space;
O word of God come send us your grace.
Open our minds show us your truth; Transform our lives a new.

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