Sunday 4th Week of Lent

March27, 2022

In my mind the readings today are about how fruitful we are. In the passage from Joshua, for the first time in forty years, the Israelites are not eating manna. Instead, they are eating what they have produced. They have been weaned, if you will. In Psalm 34 they extol the Lord for his bounty, “taste and see the goodness of the Lord”. The Lord is praised for hearing their cries. They cried in hunger much like babies do, and they were fed until they could feed themselves. The author of 2 Corinthians heralds the new creation—we who believe in Christ. We are new—like babies, but we are expected to grow in understanding. The Gospel is taken from Luke. It is the well-known parable of the Prodigal Son. It really should be called the Prodigal Father, for he is the one who shows largess of forgiveness and throws a feast—another story about eating and being made new. I am expected to bear fruit and to live off of that in addition to giving it away. The father in the parable gives his son wings, allowing him to make his own way, but welcomes him when he needs forgiveness and food. We have been given wings just like the son and the Israelites. God cares for us, reproves us, and welcomes us back when we fail. Once the Israelites entered Canaan, God did not wash his hands of them. They were expected to have matured while in the desert, just the way the son did during his ordeal, and we are to do in our journey of faith. No, God was still there for them just as God is there for us. We have become a new creation, we have been fed, we have wings. What we do with these will keep our “faces from blushing with shame” as Psalm 34 says. Happy flying! Go and bear much fruit!

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