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Sunday of the Prodigal Son


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On this, the second pre-Lenten Sunday, the Parable of the Prodigal Son is read.  In it, our Lord reveals that our heavenly Father offers to us unconditional forgiveness and mercy if, like the prodigal son, we "come to our senses," see ourselves for who we really are, and turn away from the "hunger" of "riotous living" in a "far country." The prodigal son discerned his need to return to his true home, his father's house, and acted decisively.  And "when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him," exclaiming "for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found."  

In the same way, our heavenly Father unconditionally forgives and receives us, his prodigal children -- but it is we who, laying aside our pride, must "come to our senses," acknowledge that we have sinned, and return to our "true home."
 
 

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The following readings below are for Sunday, February 17, 2019:


Today's Epistle reading [1 Corinthians 6.12-20]:

 
"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful.  "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything.  "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food" and God will destroy both one and the other.  The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?  Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute?  Never!  Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her?  For, as it is written, "The two shall become one."  But he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.  Shun immorality.  Every other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  So glorify God in your body.

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The Gospel reading for today [Luke 15.11-32]:

 
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'."