Fourth Sunday of Lent

To watch Fr. Joe’s Homily from the 4th Sunday of Lent: CLICK HERE!

This Sunday’s Gospel is the story, the parable of the Prodigal Son.   A story we heard many times.  But what we may have forgotten, is the context of this story.

The Gospel today says, “tax collectors and sinners” came to hear Jesus.  And when the Pharisees and Scribes observe this, they begin to “complain” that Jesus would hang out with these people.  They had negative stereotypes of sinners and tax collectors.  The Pharisees and Scribes saw themselves as “better than those people.”

This type of stereotyping and complaining about a person or a group of people is what prompted Jesus to tell the parable we hear today.  This entire parable, the longest one that Jesus tells, can be summed up in the first half of Jesus’ opening line, “A man had two sons…”

These five words pack quite a wallop!

One son who had run away, blew his inheritance, and acted totally irresponsibility.  And one son who stayed home, budgeted his money, and did all that was asked of him.  The two sons were as different as night and day.

Though poles apart in personalities, they could not escape the fact that they were brothers.  They were family; “a man had two sons.”

A man, a father, who loved his sons, who really loved his sons! (no matter what!)

In our world today, it is no secret that people often disdain others; look down on other people.  We hear about it almost daily: Republican & Democrat; Conservative & Liberal; Trump supporters & Trump haters; Blacks & Whites; undocumented immigrants & legal citizens; rich and poor,  and the list goes on…

Maybe this weekend is a good time to think of the person or group that we see as different.  Maybe someone we complain about…  And the next time we gripe about that person, imagine what Jesus would say to us, “a man had two sons…”