Mar 04 2007

Lent: Day 14 – Prayer & Scripture (Sunday of the Prodigal Son)

Week 3 (Day 14): Understanding

Sunday of the Prodigal Son3rd Sunday Card

“We bless You, Father eternal of Your only begotten Son, whom You have sent for the return of the lost sheep. Turn us also from sin through the passion of Your Son.” (Sharagan for the Third Sunday.)

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-32) gives us a Biblical case history of a proud man, who sets off blithely, taking his inheritance with him. He cannot manage on his own and ends up in poverty and desolation, envying pigs for their food. When he comes to his senses and says, “I will arise and go to my father,” he sounds a Lenten rallying cry for all of us. In his shame over his sin he only expects to be received as a servant, no longer a son. But the father (Our Father) receives him with the fullness of love that only the gracious, bountiful Lord can give.

The older brother is not so gracious. He resents the young ingrate’s easy reacceptance. The father reassures him that “everything I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, for your brother was dead and he come to life; he was lost and is found.” Do not begrudge God’s mercy to another.

The other readings call us back to our Father (Isaiah 54:11-55:13, II Corinthians 6:1-18.)

Today’s Prayer

My pitiful soul, though you heard the warnings
from Jerusalem
and were told parables about Babylon by the prophet,
you did not listen, leaving me
ridiculous on the one hand,
and scandalized on the other;
here accused, there reprimanded;
here mocked, there insulted;
here scorned, there opposed;
here confused, there abandoned;
here weeping, there sobbing;
here doubt, there finality;
here grief, there chastisement;
here calamity, there the court of judgment.

Here I am,
with no right to speak, nor opportunity to plea,
where days are without number and time has no end,
where there is no bridge of hope, nor door of mercy,
no protecting right hand, nor helping hand extended.

Today’s Scripture (Reading)

Luke 15:1-32

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’
Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
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.’”

Daily Prayer and Scripture taken from the Armenian Church

armenian church, lent, prayer, readings, scripture

About the author

Timothy Haroutunian

Timothy Haroutunian is a ServiceNow Cloud Implementation Specialist at Acorio. ServiceNow is an IT Management solution that allows for a complete view of your IT and physical environment.

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