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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Season of the Soul: Lent 4

Lenten Theme:
What is a fool for Christ

Fool Prayer
by Beth McLean
inspired by the Ash Wednesday Liturgy
from A Prayer Book for Australia.

Lord, make me a ‘fool’ for you.
Lord of mercy and compassion, help me to see as you see.
Give me courage to stand up for justice,
to support those who are oppressed, unwanted, despised.
Help me to find you in all I meet,
let me be not afraid of derision or scorn
for your sake and for the sake of your children.
Transform me.

Joshua 5:2-12
Psalm 32
2 Corintians 5:16-21
Luke 15:11-32

To-day's reading of the Good News of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
tells the parable (story used by Jesus to teach people) of the Prodigal Son.

And he said, "There was a man who had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.' And he divided his living between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, `How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants."' And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to make merry."Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.' But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!' And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'"

For those interested in comparative religious studies or inter-faith dialogue, this site is interesting for its discussion of the Prodigal Son in the Christian tradition and in the Buddhist tradition. Very interesting!

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