March 8, 2013

4th Sunday of Lent

Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

Treat me as …

Upon his return, the younger son prepares a three-part speech. 
1. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 
2. I no longer deserve to be called your son; 
3. treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”

But the Father does not even give him the time to finish all three parts

The son acknowledges that he has sinned, and “no longer deserve to be called your son.” He still addresses the “father,” but he knows enough to ask that he be treated as “one of the hired workers.” 

But the father does not even let him get there. The son’s actual words end in the place that the father always keeps him, a “son.”

Similarly, the older son considers himself a slave when he angrily describes his life with the father in these words, “All these years I served you.” In fact, a closer translation would read, “All these years I have slaved for you.” [1] Moreover, he does not even address the man “Father” as his brother did. [2]

Yet, in his very first words to the angry older son, the father calls him, “My son.” 

Do I see myself as God always sees and treats me, “my child”?

[1] New Jerusalem Bible translation
[2] Brown, Raymond E.; Fitzmyer, Joseph A.; Murphy, Roland E., ed. The Jerome Biblical Commentary. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968; p. 148.

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