23 March 2019:Are you a son or a slave?

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Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Micah 7:14-15,18-20; Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Look, all these years I had slaved for you

Thomas Merton made a wonderful distinction between the saint and the sinner. The saint is someone who feels like a son/daughter before God; the sinner is someone who feels like a slave before God! The children don’t steal from their Father, because all that is his, is theirs! The feelings and behaviour of slaves are different.

Adam and Eve felt like children before their Father, and they owned the garden of Eden. But the tempter told them: “God does not want you to be his children, like him in knowing good and evil. That’s why you can’t touch the tree of life.” They believed him, and began to steal from their own house, their Father’s house! From being children, they turned themselves into slaves.

In the splendid parable of Jesus, the elder son complains to his Father: “All these years I had been slaving for you, never disobeying your orders. And yet you hardly gave me even a kid, to celebrate with my friends.” The Father replied: “Son, all that is mine is yours! Any day you could have taken a kid or a calf to celebrate. I am your Father, not your Master? This brother of yours was also like you but at least now, he has realized that he is my son, not my slave, that I am his Father, not his Master. I wish you do the same!”

At the basis of all sinfulness is the failure to see God as our Father or Mother. At the basis of all virtue, there is the grace of seeing God truly as the most loving Mother or Father! The tendency to see God as an unwanted Master is also at the root of much atheism and secularism. It is actually a grace if someone truly manages to see him as Father. This is the basic difference between Jesus and the Pharisees! This is also the basic difference between those who believe in God, and those who boast of being unbelievers!

 

 

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