Fourth Sunday of Lent.

Fourth Sunday of Lent.

The prodigal Son.

The issue of reconciliation, another of the big issues of Lent, is put before us this week. St Luke gives us one of the most wonderful parables to help us visualise the Father, who looks for us when we stray and embraces us with love and clothes us in dignity when we return. But sometimes we can be either of the sons. We can live away from the father, until we come to our senses. We can live with the father, thinking that we are slaves, with no sense of his love for us. This week all the reflections come from the Gospel, it is so rich, we might only be able to digest a little of it.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.


The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them. (Luke 15:1-3)

  • When do you seek out the company of Jesus?
  • What makes his message so appealing?
  • What do you complain about most?
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying to your heart.



Then he came to his senses and said, ‘How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.’ (Luke 15:17-19)

  • What has it taken for you to come to your senses?
  • How have you sinned?
  • How do you want God to treat you?
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying to you about conversion.



While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. (Luke 15:20)

  • What moves you with pity or compassion?
  • How does it feel to know the father is looking out for you?
  • Imagine yourself being embraced by God.
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying to you about compassionate love.



The father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine as dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:22-24)

  • Have you ever been lost? What was it like?
  • When have you experienced your dignity being restored?
  • What new life do you need?
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying about resurrection.



The elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. “Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound. He was angry then and refused to go in. (Luke 15:25-28)

  • Do you have difficult relations with your siblings?
  • What makes you angry?
  • When has someone else’s good news sounded bad to you?
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying to you about your feelings.



His father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered my so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property –he and his women- you kill the calf we had been fattening.  (Luke 15:28-30)

  • Have you ever felt this jealous?
  • Have you ever felt that you are God’s slave?
  • Have you ever felt that God doesn’t reward you for good behaviour?
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying about your relationship with the Father.



The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it is only right that we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:31-32)

  • How do you think the Pharisees took this answer to their complaint?
  • Reflect on the father saying “you are with me always”.
  • Can you celebrate new life in God today?
  • Listen to what Jesus is saying to you about rejoicing.

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