Studies and Meditations on this Sundays Scripture Readings: March 10, 2013


#1

*"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.'" *

To help us prepare for this coming Sunday, here are the readings, studies and reflections for this coming Sunday's Scripture readings. This Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Lent.

Here are the Scripture readings from the U.S. Catholic bishops website.

My own weekly study on the Sunday Readings can be found here.

Here are three short audio reflections on the readings by Sister Ann Shields, Dr. Scott Hahn, and Fr. Robert Barron.

Scripture scholar Fr. Francis Martin's video meditations on the Sunday Scripture readings can be found here.

Here is a Catholic Bible study podcast (each about an hour long) from the Franciscan Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother. The sister leading the study does a really nice job using primarily, I believe, the notes from the St. Charles Borromeo study linked below.

The Navarre Bible Commentary for each reading can be viewed here.

Further study resources for the Readings: St. Charles Borromeo Bible Study can be found here, Catholic Matters can be found here, the Catena Aurea ("Golden Chain") of St. Thomas Aquinas can be found here, and the Haydock Commentary can be found here.

Please consider supporting those who provide these free resources.

Discussion, questions and charitable comments are always welcome. Have a blessed week!

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#2

As way of reminder: The Mass you may attend this Sunday may have different Scripture readings if they are doing the Scrutinies for the RCIA candidates. The alternate readings (from liturgical Cycle A rather than Cycle C for this year) are available at the links above.

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#3

I attended a different parish than the one I am registered to. I'm trying to find a parish where the ushers and people are not sacriligiously talking before, during, and after Mass, and disturbing me in prayer along the way.

There was a retired priest who was standing in for this 5:30 p.m. Sunday Mass.

He had a give-and-take with the congregation about the meaning of the parable. He asked the people who they identified more with, the father, or either of the sons.

Only now a couple hours later I have come to my own understanding of the parable of the two sons.

The gospel reading says that the Scribes and Pharisees were listening to Jesus. I think the parable is really about them, both being disloyal "sons" of Israel.

Both sons in the parable do the wrong thing; only the younger one repents and crawls back, asking the father for forgiveness.

So, whatever else it meant, this was an object lesson for these Jewish leaders.

I don't subscribe to the idea that there's only one single correct interpretation of scripture. The Church has few official interpretations (see The New Jerome Biblical Commentary). So, what I have said here is just one interpretation to throw on the table for consideration.

The Jewish Talmud is a centuries-long conversation of this sort, where many ideas are brought out for consideration. Neither do the Jews have anything like we Catholics call a magisterium nor do they have any official interpretation of scripture (The Jewish Study Bible, Oxford University Press).


#4

[quote="sirach2v4, post:3, topic:317765"]

The gospel reading says that the Scribes and Pharisees were listening to Jesus. I think the parable is really about them, both being disloyal "sons" of Israel.

Both sons in the parable do the wrong thing; only the younger one repents and crawls back, asking the father for forgiveness.

So, whatever else it meant, this was an object lesson for these Jewish leaders.

[/quote]

I think you are correct. The original context of this lesson when Jesus taught it was directed at the Scribes and Pharisees who were despising the type of people Jesus was preaching to as unworthy sinners. Jesus wanted to show them that God the Father cares about these lost souls and will gladly embrace them if they return to Him. That is the literal meaning of what we are told about.

Now I don't agree in any way with the methodology of the priest you mentioned (the homily is not supposed to be a dialogue between the homilist and the congregation :rolleyes:), but his point is a valid one. We are not supposed to stop at comprehending the literal meaning of the text (though that is important-- even critical-- in our understanding of it). But hearing the Gospel does us no good if we cannot somehow apply it to ourselves and internalize that message, letting it change us in some manner so that we become more Christlike as a result.

We have to ask ourselves: Are we the Scribes and Pharisees? Are we the tax collectors and sinners? Are we the younger son in the parable? The older son? If the father in the story is God the Father, how do we imitate him?


#5

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