SATURDAY DAY 18
COME BACK TO THE LORD
Scripture Reading: Joel 2:12-17
Think of your own life as you read Luke 15:11-32. The prodigal son went through a number of different phases. One of those phases is where you are right now in your own life. Either you plan to leave the Father’s house, saying: “I want to go it alone; I don’t need anybody to tell me what to do”! Or you are in inner turmoil, far from God, the Father. The inheritance has long been squandered. You feel empty. Whatever happens, you don’t care. Or perhaps you have reached the lowest station in your life, symbolized by the pigs the prodigal son was feeding.
When someone turns his back on God and leaves, things will go downhill rapidly, perhaps not on the outside. Financially, things may still be going well. A person may also seem to be having a good time partying and living it up. But what about the inner person, the soul? How tragic! When the longing of the soul for God awakens, then it becomes apparent that all the riches of the world are vain and meaningless. Life then seems like a colourful ornament on a Christmas tree that is fragile and hollow inside. Nothing in the world can satisfy the craving of the soul for God but God Himself.
All of us have left the Father’s house. You know the moment when you slammed the door and said: “I want to be independent. I want to have things my own way. I don’t want God to rule in my life. That is our sin, our transgression, our godlessness. We stop praying, stop reading God’s Word, and deny Him.
As we read and meditate on today’s scriptural passage, let us hear the voice of the Lord as He calls out to us to repent and come back to Him with all our heart. The Lord our God is merciful, loving and waiting with open arms to receive us. One of my favourite hymns of all time is “Hosea” by the monks of Weston Priory. It is based on the words of the prophet Joel: “Even now says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.”
MASS: VIOLET: Jer 23: 5-8; Ps 72: 1-2. 12-13. 18-19(R. 7); Accl O leader of the house of Israel! You gave the law to Moses on Sinai: come and redeem us with an outstretched arm. Gospel Mt 1: 18-24 ST. RUFUS & ZOSIMUS
1. Pray that you would be free from the dominion of sin in your life. Ask God to make you blameless and innocent. Ask God that the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart be acceptable in the sight of your Rock and Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)
Exercise: Repent of any distance between you and the Lord. Tell God of your desire to draw near to Him, and claim His promise to draw near to you.
Meditation: James 4:8-10