Catholic IrelandLiturgical Readings for : Saturday, 2nd March, 2024
Next Sunday's Readings
Saturday of the Second week in Lent
In the story of the gracious father welcoming back the wayward son,
Jesus shows us the way forward for us on our journey to God.
A reading from the prophet Micah 7:14-15. 18-20
Tread down our faults, to the bottom of the sea.
With shepherd’s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage, living confined in a forest with meadow land all around. Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old.
As in the days when you came out of Egypt grant us to see wonders.
What god can compare with you: taking fault away, pardoning crime,
not cherishing anger for ever but delighting in showing mercy?
Once more have pity on us, tread down our faults, to the bottom of the sea throw all our sins. Grant Jacob your faithfulness, and Abraham your mercy, as you swore to our fathers from the days of long ago.
The Word of the Lord Thanks be to God
Responsorial Psalm Ps 102
Response The Lord is compassion and love.
1. My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings. Response
2. It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave, who crowns you with love and compassion. Response
3. His wrath will come to an end; he will not be angry for ever.
He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults. Response
4. For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins. Response
Gospel Acclamation Lk 15:18
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
I will leave this place and go to my father and say:
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ !
The Lord be with you. And with your spirit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 15: 1-3. 11-32 Glory to you, O Lord
Your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.
The tax collectors and the sinners, meanwhile, were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained.
‘This man’ they said ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
So he spoke this parable to them:
‘A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.” So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.
‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.” So he left the place and went back to his father.
‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.”
But the father said to his servants,
“Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.
‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about.
“Your brother has come” replied the servant “and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.” He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father,
“Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.”
‘The father said,
My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.”‘
The Gospel of the Lord Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Reflection Saturday Second Week of Lent Luke 15:1-5, 11-32
In about four weeks’ time we will be celebrating the great feast of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We celebrate the good news that Jesus who was crucified, who was dead, was brought back to life by God. That language of death followed by new life is to be found in today’s parable. To the servants the father said, ‘this son of mine was dead and has come back to life’; to his elder son he says, ‘your brother was dead and has come back to life’. There is more than one form of resurrection. The resurrection to new life that we long and hope for beyond this earthly life can be anticipated in various ways in the course of our earthly lives. In the parable, resurrection for the younger son took the form of a journey from a self-imposed isolation to an experience of community, and from a sense of guilt to an experience of loving acceptance. It was the father’s unconditional love which allowed his younger son to make his journey, to rise from the dead. The father’s emotional response to his son was one of compassion.
The father in the parable is an image of God. The parable suggests that God’s compassionate love is always at work bringing people from some form of death to a new life. In contrast to the father, the elder son considered his brother (‘this son of yours’) dead and was happy to see him remain in his self-imposed tomb. Whereas the father’s response to his son was one of compassion, the elder brother’s response to him was one of anger. The parable challenges us to embody in our own ways of relating to others the life-giving presence of the father’s compassion rather than the deadening presence of the elder son’s anger.
The Scripture Readings are taken from The Jerusalem Bible, published 1966 by Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd. and used with the permission of the publishers. http://dltbooks.com/
The Scripture Reflection is made available with our thanks from his book Reflections on the Weekday Readings 2021/2024: The Word is near to you, on your lips and in your heart by Martin Hogan and published by Messenger Publications 2022/23, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop/