Homily For 4th (“Laetare”) Sunday Of Lent, Year C

 

Reconciled With God Through Christ

Rdgs: (1st: Jos 5, 9-12; Ps 33; 2nd I Cor 5, 1-21; Gos: Lk 15, 1-3.11-23)

This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

“Rejoice, O Jerusalem: Come together all you that love her; rejoice you that have been in sorrow; that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of her consolation.” On this forth (“Laetare”) Sunday of Lent the Church encourages us to: “Rejoice and be joyful,” because Christ is willing to reconcile us to his Father. So, on this joyful Sunday, she invites us to be reconciled with God and our brothers and sisters.

Once a man took ill and was told that the only condition to be healed was to forgive and reconcile with those that have offended him. So, he wrote to his debtors and enemies: “My dear, having realized the power of forgiveness and reconciliation, I have cancelled all the debts you owe me, please lets continue to be friends again and do pray for me!” This is Providence in action. This man’s sickness was God’s way of mediating grace to his friends. In the same way, through his death, Christ reassures us that our “debt of sin” has been cancelled. Also, His Sacraments mediate grace for us and reconcile us to God.

In today’s second reading, Paul tells us that we are “products of Christ’s reconciliation.” Christ took the first initiative of reconciling us to God. In order words, owing to sin, we were cut off from God. However, through the sacrifice of Christ we became God’s adopted children. So we are all children of the same father by virtue of Christ’s sacrifice.

In today’s gospel, through the story of the prodigal son, Jesus reassures us of God’s readiness to reconcile with us. The parable of the prodigal son is the story of a loving father. It is also the story of a humbled and repented son. It is the story of reconciliation at its best. It is the story of a life we must live daily. Hence, it does not matter how far we have gone away from God or how terrible our past has been. What matters is that Christ is willing to reconcile us to his Father, and to restore our lost glory. He beckons on us: “Come let us settle the matter, though your sin is as red as scarlet, they will be white as snow” (Ish. 1, 18).    

Therefore this season we must constantly seek reconciliation with God through Christ. We must humbly rediscover our self and say like the prodigal son: “I have sinned against heaven and earth.” We must also say to God, “I am coming home.” This is what Paul means when he appeals to us to be reconciled to God. He simply asks us to realize who we are and change our minds like the prodigal son.

So, we must cast away all shame and pride in order to make peace with God and others through Jesus, the “Universal Sacrament of Salvation.” Christ himself has made things easy for us by giving us the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a means of constantly reconciling ourselves to God. The sacrament of reconciliation has double edges: Reconciliation with God and reconciliation with our brothers and sister. One leads to the other. Our reconciliation with god is strongly dependent on our reconciliation with one another.

Therefore this Lent, let us take advantage of this sacrament instituted by Christ and administered by His Church in order to be reconciled to God and our neighbours. This sacrament is a blessing to all of us because it mediates God’s grace to us. Through the sacrament of reconciliation let us: “Taste and see that the Lord is good”

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

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