By Fr. Andrew Kelly
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT – MARCH 10
When Luke tells the story of the father and his two sons in Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32), Luke does not tell how the story ends. Did the elder son ever welcome his brother back home?
Or to this day is the elder son still sulking in resentful anger over the generous, compassionate forgiveness his father showered on his wayward younger son?
The only people who know how the story ends are the believers who hear the story.
The reason is that Luke has made the listeners the elder son. The elder son’s story may be the listener’s own story.
Both the believers’ family and faith community may have members who have been as wanton, irresponsible, greedy and dissolute as the younger son in the Gospel story.
But all of a sudden the younger son is home free, reconciled and forgiven as though nothing had happened.
Luke wants to know how to end his story.
Have community members joined the father (God) in celebrating the homecoming and reconciliation?
Or are lots of “elder sons” still sulking in anger and resentment refusing to address the dissolute one as sister or brother?
Luke thanks the community for finishing his story for him.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for March 10-17
Jos 5:9a, 10-12
2 Cor 5:17-21
Lk 15:1-3, 11-32
Ez 47:1-9, 12
Wis 2:1a, 12-22
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30