Saturday, April 19, 2014

Through Your Sacred Wounds, a Lenten pilgrimage to the Prodigal Feast

Part Five: Come Into The Feast

We have journeyed together, companions through Lent. We have seen Jesus coming into the world not to judge us but to heal us, not to condemn us as sinners but to embrace us as brothers and sisters in need of healing. We have come to witness the erroneous teachings which have persisted in the Church, about a vengeful God seeking to punish us with eternal torment. We have seen these teachings have no basis in either the language of Jewish Scripture, nor in the Aramaic, Jesus’ language, or in the Greek of Jesus’s generation. We know again that the loving Father could never intentionally harm his creation as he is loving toward everyone and his compassion covers all his works. In his own compassion and mercy, Jesus offers us this also, we know the Father’s love because we know his. We know too that our wounds are made holy and sacred in his wounds, as his healing wounds heal ours and teach us to heal others from the experience of our wounds.

Remember the prodigal son. He recognizes his wounds and with this humility returns to his father. His father embraces him as returned from the dead and prepares a feast for his prodigal and all in the district to celebrate the finding of what was lost, his son and his son’s capacity to return in humility and honesty, ready to work for his father. Remember too, the older brother who storms out of the party full of resentment, though he has always had his father’s promise and love and a place in his house. He still resents the attention given his wondering brother. Worse, he has no appreciation of his own true worth, in spite of the good life he has with his father and his promised inheritance as the eldest son. He judges and scorns his brother and father and in doing so, only casts himself out from the prodigal feast and out into the shadows beyond the celebration and party lights. The prodigal son ran from his father because he lacked humility and self-dignity.  His brother ran from the feast because he lacked humility in his self-importance.

Tomorrow we come to the great Easter Feast, which is none other than the great prodigal feast, to which we are all called, regardless of our circumstance. At times we are prodigals. At times we are resentful brothers. Regardless, our father is always waiting for us, the confused mixture of simultaneous saint and sinner, all embraced in God’s compassion, in the healing power of Jesus our brother. So come to the table and rub elbows with our brothers and sisters, whatever their condition. Come with wounds exposed to be healed by Jesus, your wounds to be transformed into God’s healing openings for each other. The Lord’s feast is the prodigal feast.

Rejoice! Be fed and go feed!

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