6th March – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (C))

Today is Mother’s Day or as some people prefer to call it Mothering Sunday. It is an motherhoodopportunity to thank those people past and perhaps present who cared/care for us. A shining example is sister Maureen who has been so good to me since the cancer was first diagnosed back in March 4th, 2013. The debt of the human family to such individuals is great.

Today is the second opportunity in a week to hear the parable of the Prodigal Son at Mass. This is a reflection by Fr Donal Neary, SJ from catholicireland.net.

This is a real family story about breakups and reconciliation, about love that covers all sorts of happenings and about love to the end. It is about a father who loved all the time, and many a parent identifies with it.

Look at a few things… the son had wanted him dead… ‘give me the legacy Da’. Everyone knew that. He had shamed the family. And the old man waited for years, hoping that his loved son would return.

Look at what happened when he came home – mercy took over – the run, robe, ring and the sandals. He was welcomed as a son. The father doesn’t even say once that he forgives. He loves totally and that includes forgiveness.

It’s mercy all the time. That repairs the loss. The son wanted to be a hired servant and that would have kept the old man at a distance. He was brought back as a son.

The story is also a call on us to have mercy. People all do wrong – often great wrong. We need a lot of mercy in our country now, but we can’t hold bitterness forever. The gospel today encourages us to love as we have been loved with the love that is merciful.