HOMILY FOR THE 4TH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR C
THEME : A LOVE BEYOND MEASURE
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
Beloved in Christ, today is a special day, for today is the fourth sunday of Lent : a day on which the church invites us to rejoice because our lenten preparation has reached a mid point. This sunday is traditionally known as ‘Laetare Sunday ‘.
Beloved, as we celebrate and rejoice today as Christians, the Church invites us to draw very important lessons from the readings of today.
The story of the prodigal son is one story that all of us are very familiar with. However, to refresh your memory; it is a story about a man with two sons. But though this story began with the younger son as the bad one ,it ends up with the elder son also becoming an obstacle to the unity , peace and harmony that the loving Father wanted for his family. This reminds us of what St . Paul says in Romans 3:23( all have sinned and have lost the glory of God). The emphasis is on the word ” all”, hence whether it is visible like the younger son or hidden like the elder son ; we have all sinned before God. The good news this morning is that there is no condition to receiving the fathers love.
Beloved, though under the law (Deut.21 :15-17) the younger son had the right to ask for his inheritance, exercising that right was tantamount to saying that he wished the father dead.
Some of us Christians today are living like this boy , as if God is dead or He does not matter. However, this radical departure from God will always land us in disaster; like the feeding of pigs for a Jewish boy .
My dear friend, it is in the light of this that St. Paul reminds us of the benefits of reconciliation with God.
For Humankind has not been the same since Jesus , He reminds us that we are not God’s slaves or hired help but His children and this invitation is open to all.
Therefore, in 2 Cor. 5:17 , we are told if anyone is in Christ , he is a new creation the old has passed away.
But unfortunately most Christians today don’t see themselves as different from the rest of the world. They sadly think they are in competition with the rest of the world.
Beloved in Christ, we can never be in competition with the rest of the world because we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20),thus we are under obligation to reflect Christ to the world.
Again, the Gospel is a clear warning to those who think to succeed others must fail. This is because the failure of the younger son did not ensure the success of the elderly son. For this reason , there should be no room for jealousy and envy in our lives.
Beloved, it is of no use to think that who your friend fails, you will automatically be successful. Remember then that is best when we support each other to succeed.