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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

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Fourth Sunday of Lent

“I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.'” Luke 15:18-19

Some of the first words a two-year-old might say are “Do by self!” It is almost a rite of passage for teenagers to test their parents as much as they can. Every parent who ever lay awake in bed at night waiting to hear the sound of the child pulling the car into the garage or opening the door knows at least as much about praying vigils as any nun in a convent. This is a deep and earnest prayer, and the parents can barely breathe until their child comes home. Usually when we think of the story of the Prodigal Son, we think of the feeling of guilt the son had as he realized how much he had messed things up, or we feel the injustice that the older brother felt, because he wasn’t the rebel child leaving the home.

What we don’t often remember in the story of the Prodigal Son is that God is their welcoming, urging us on. A few years ago there was a funeral for a young man who died of a drug overdose within days of coming out of a treatment center. Many of his young friends came but expected fire and brimstone, and to be told what a bad child that boy was. Instead, the priest preached about God loving this child so much that perhaps the only way God could protect him was to bring him home. That gentle image of God welcoming him with open arms soothed the broken hearts and unspoken questions that were on many minds. Not every situation is that drastic, but God is calling us home this Lent no matter
what mistakes we’ve made, or how many times we have made them.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Is 65:17-21; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13b; Jn 4:43-54
Tuesday: Ez 47:1-9, 12; Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9; Jn 5:1-16
Wednesday: Is 49:8-15; Ps 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18; Jn 5:17-30
Thursday: Ex 32:7-14; Ps 106:19-23; Jn 5:31-47
Friday: Wis 2:1a, 12-22; Ps 34:17-21, 23; Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Saturday: Jer 11:18-20; Ps 7:2-3, 9bc-12; Jn 7:40-53
Sunday: Is 43:16-21; Ps 126:1-6; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11;
Alternate readings (Year A): Ez 37:12-14; Ps 130:1-8; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45 [3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45]

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Lent
Friday: First Friday; Abstinence; April Fool’s Day
Saturday: St. Francis of Paola; First Saturday