Being holy

I have a Lenten question for you: Are you holy? On a recent Friday at the noon Mass I asked the 100 or so folks in the pews to consider that question. I actually called on three people for answers. Their replies were (a) “not yet”, (b) “working on it”, and (c) “yes.” The “yes” was given with some enthusiasm and there followed some chuckles throughout the church – and I suspect some wonder who was the bold, brash soul that responded “yes.” Rather cheeky, one would think. What would have been your answer? I suspect the most common thought would be somewhere between “no,” “no, of course not, Saints are holy, not me,” “not holy, but I am a good person,” and “oh my, no, I am just a sinner” (said with a sincere piety). Continue reading

What was lost

This morning’s gospel is the parable of “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32)

Luke 15 is one of the great chapters of Scripture for parables, bound together by the theme of joy over the recovery of what was lost. All three parables of Luke 15 (the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son) point to the idea of the return of one that was lost.  To the simple structure of lost/found/joy, in the Prodigal Son parable, there is further development of the theme of God’s love and the contrast of the older brother’s hostility. Luke uses this motif to teach a newer, more full meaning of repentance. Continue reading