14 Sep 2013

15th September 2013 - 24th Sunday in Ordinary time (Year C) - Return of the Prodigal Sons

On this weeks programme, the SS102fm team have a discussion about what people can do for the remaining few weeks of the Year of Faith. We also have our regular reflection on this weeks gospel as well as a run down on our celestial guides of the week as well as some local notices.

You can listen to the podcast of this weeks programme HERE.

Year of Faith

As regular readers/listeners will know, SS102fm has been promoting the Year of Faith called by Pope Benedict XVI to mark the 50th anniversary of the calling of the second Vatican Council and the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The year began on October 11th 2012 and will end on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King on November 24th 2013. This is a special year in which we are asked as to reflect on the gift of faith as the universal Church, episcopal conferences, diocesan level, parish, community, association, movements and individually.

You can find more information on the official website of the Year of Faith. Also please check out our page on the Year of Faith for further information, links and suggestions.

Gospel - Luke 15: 1- 32

The Return of the Prodigal Son - Rembrandt
This week we are presented with three parables from Luke's gospel which follow on from last weeks gospel which reminded us that we are called to focus on God alone and this weeks gospel gives us a glimpse of who our God is. On the programme we focused on the parable of the Prodigal Son or perhaps what we should call the Return of the Prodigal Sons. 

"The parable of the Prodigal Son is likely one of the most quoted and most versatile of all the stories in the Gospels. And it is so because at various times in our lives it is easy to identify with one or all of these three characters. Of course our motives for identifying with them can be mixed, such as when we prefer to put ourselves in the shoes of the generous father. He has been deeply wronged, and his youngest son has been a keen disappointment. We’ve all been there. And there is more than a hint of disappointment to be found in the eldest son, who complains that he has not gotten proper recognition from the father. We’ve all been the aggrieved elder brother. But unlike the father, are there times when we’ve preferred to wallow in our grief and refuse to turn the page and move on?"
For the younger son we see how he rejects the Fathers house, the community and leaves for distant lands. Could we say it is people who have left the faith; left the community (being excluded from the community)? But still he has remorse and humility - "I have sinned against heaven and against my father" - can we see ourselves in the younger son? Have we the humility to be able to recognise our weaknesses and sinfulness and being grown up enough to be able to ask for forgiveness and seek to return?
While many of us may sympathise with the Elder son we need to recognise how he had put himself from as far from the love of his Father as much as the younger brother had left and put himself beyond the community/family of love. His heart is full of resentment and a heart full of resentment and bitterness can be open to love. He was with his father but didn't really know his father - we can see he has a chip on his shoulder over the slightest thing. Can we see elements of ourselves in him?
The Father's extravagant love for both his sons despite their faults and their lack of openness and no matter what they are still  his sons. Are we as open to those around us? Are we also open to recognising this love God has for each one of us? Many people are depressed and afraid to recognise and accept this abundant love the Father has for each one of us.
Which character are you? Focus on each one - how am I the younger son? How am I the elder son? How am I the father? Take a day on each one and reflect and pray on each one during the coming week.
Reflections on this weeks gospel:
Reflections on further information on Rembrandt's painting:
“Addiction" might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply permeates society. Our addiction make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment: accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink, and sexual gratification without distinguishing between lust and love. These addictions create expectations that cannot but fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world's delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile quests in "the distant country," leaving us to face an endless series of disillusionments while our sense of self remains unfulfilled. In these days of increasing addictions, we have wandered far away from our Father's home. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in "a distant country." It is from there that our cry for deliverance rises up.”   

Liturgical Odds and Ends

Liturgy of the Hours - Psalter week 4

Saints of the Week

September 16th - Ss Cornelius (pope) and Cyprian (martyrs). Also St Hildegard of Bingen (Doctor of the Church)
September 17th - St Robert Bellarmine SJ
September 18th - St Joseph of Cupertina
September 19th - St Januarius of Naples
September 20th - The Korean Martyrs
September 21st - St Matthew (Apostle)

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