Mass Reading & Meditation for March 2, 2013
Meditation: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
2nd Week of Lent
Everything I have is yours. (Luke 15:31)
The party was in full swing. The sounds of music and dancing and animated celebration were unmistakable—and incomprehensible—to the young man. “You mean my brother squandered a hefty portion of the family estate,” he splutters, “and we celebrate?” Bitterness radiates from him as surely as the sound of joyful merrymaking carries from the feast. “My brother had all that wicked fun, and then he’s treated like a hero for returning? I’ve served my father so faithfully,” he fumes, “yet he’s never given me so much as a small goat to feast on with my friends.”
The older son’s problem is that he never asked. His father even assured him, “Everything I have is yours.” Everything! The older son didn’t consider his father to be so extravagantly generous; he didn’t expect impressive expressions of his father’s love. He was so caught up in duty, service, and obedience that he missed the most important thing: love, displayed extravagantly and without hesitation.
This is the kind of love that God the Father showers on us every day. We have only to receive it from him. It’s the kind of love that created the heavens and the earth, the kind of love that set us as rulers over creation. It’s the kind of love that sacrificed his only Son for our sake and still forgives, and forgives, and forgives again. Generous. Overflowing. Extravagant. The kind of love that boldly declares, “Everything I have is yours.” That’s how much your heavenly Father loves you!
This week, ask your Father for that “goat” for a feast with your friends. Ask him for something you’d like but don’t necessarily need. Set aside all thought of what you deserve, all insecurity, all fear of punishment. Your Father loves you. He delights in you and wants to declare his love for you unmistakably and extravagantly. When the older son complained that he had never had a feast, his father opened his arms and his heart, declaring, “It’s all yours.” This is who our God is. This is how he loves us. Be confident in that love. Ask.
“Father, I don’t always think your extravagant love is for me. Help me to grow in confidence and assurance that when I ask, you will answer generously.”
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12