Lenten Reflection March 30-31

Written on: March 27, 2019

This week’s Lenten reflection for Laetare Sunday is from Sister Barbara Harrington. Sr. Barbara lives in her hometown of Buffalo and being Italian, of course she writes about food!

Have you ever had to be on a restricted diet?

If so, then you know the joy of returning to your favorites and escaping the limitations on something as basic and wonderful as food! In our first reading from Joshua, permission to enjoy the food of Canaan was a sign to the Israelites that their testing was over. In joyful response, I‘m sure most of them shouted out a facsimile of today’s psalm, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!” Some might see this responsorial as an invitation to adventure, “taste and see” saying, ‘go ahead, try it!’ Something new is often a bit scary. The psalm assures us that in this case, if we taste, we will be delivered from all our fears.

Paul tells the Corinthians that old things are passing away and that new things have come. The old way of sacrifice for sin is over. Tradition is being broken, but Paul speaks with the authority of an ambassador to tell us good news:

Christ is not counting our sins against us but is now reconciling the world through Christ.  Here is an even more significant evidence of “the goodness of the Lord.”

Our Gospel reading is the beautiful parable of the Prodigal.

Jesus describes how God’s version of reconciliation and righteousness look in real life.  We see misadventure as the younger brother’s fortune turns sour. His life and diet have become ‘restricted.’ Repentant, he heads back home. His joyful reception is over the top but precipitates a crisis for his brother, the faithful son who stayed home helping his father while his younger brother broke with tradition and wandered off. But, this crisis helps the father realize his faithful son has been lacking the encouragement and recognition the father alone could give. He now lavishes it upon him in saying, “You are with me always and all I have is yours.”

In God’s providence, there is always abundance:

  • The wandering son comes home;
  • the father has new insight,
  • the older son, an airing of his frustrations which has potential for a better relationship with his father and brother.
  • Finally, there is a celebration, a feast!

A feast we co-share in Eucharist. There, we too can “Taste, and see the goodness of the Lord!

Photo credit: Ahna Ziegler/ Unsplash


Additional Reflections:

5 thoughts on “Lenten Reflection March 30-31

  1. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you for the meaningful and clarifying metaphor.

  2. Sister Anne Boyer, GNSH says:

    Dear Barb,
    I especially liked the providential comment on the older son and his father now realizing a new potential to their relationship. For me, that stretches a loving edge to the story.

  3. Mary Teresa LaBrake, GNSH says:

    Barbara, you bring out how much we often compare ourselves to another sibling or person with whom we live and/or work. But, God the Father doesn’t deal with comparisons because of the great love which is poured out on each one. You bring out how much we must trust in all difficult situations.

  4. Sr. Maria Christi Drysdale, G.N.S.H says:

    Thanks Barbara, I just left an enjoyable meal that was pleasing to my palate but my view of the “invitation to taste and see the goodness of the Lord” has been the use of my senses of viewing the beauty of His Creation, the smell of the flowers blooming, the meeting of the multi-ethnic group of people that I encounter in a day’s journey and sharing concerns of family situations current economic needs, the sick who share their “optimistic” view of their illness and how God is helping them through it with or without family members. So, with Katie’s response where-in the material and spiritual coincide we have CHRIST WHO “LAVISHES US WITH HIS ABUNDANCE GOODNESS”

  5. KT Connor says:

    These have been wonderful. I’ve loved reading them! This one prompt me to remember how rich I felt Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation was for the week of March 3 – March 8, 2019 called “The Is My Body” . The theme was that “wherever the material and the spiritual coincide, we have the Christ” Barbara seems to have picked up a similar thought: food can bring us to the entire world’s presence of God.

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