March 10, 2013 –– Fourth Sunday of Lent
Jos 5: 9a, 10-12; Ps 34: 2-7; 2 Cor 5:17-21; Lk 15: 1-3, 11-32
All of the readings for this Fourth Sunday of Lent deal with reconciliation and forgiveness. There is a strong suggestion relating to our Sacrament of Penance (Confession, Reconciliation).
An important characteristic of stewardship is to faithfully follow our beliefs. As Catholics we are called to Confession at a minimum annually, and in reality more than that. Canon 989 states: “All the faithful who have reached the age of discretion are bound faithfully to confess their grave sins at least once a year.”
Reconciliation/Confession is one of the least understood of the Sacraments of our Catholic Church. In reconciling us to God, it is a great source of grace, and we are encouraged to take advantage of it often. The Church strongly recommends that, in preparation for fulfilling our Easter Duty to receive Communion, we go to Confession.
The Gospel from Luke, the parable of the Prodigal Son, is filled with forgiveness and reconciliation. The son’s actions and his desire to be reconciled follow the requirements each of us must follow for our own reconciliation/confession to be valid.
We are called to be a forgiving people. Just as the father in the parable, who, of course, represents our own Heavenly Father, completely forgives his son and welcomes him and celebrates his return, we must reach out to those around us — perhaps family or friends with whom we have some dispute, and forgive and seek reconciliation. Lent is a perfect time to do that.