Thursday, April 4, 2019

Lent, 4th Sunday: prodigal son and hospitality

Fourth Sunday of Lent: March 31, 2019

Just a quick note about the Gospel today. It’s the story of the Prodigal Son.

The story is about forgiveness and salvation, most obviously.

Salvation: The Prodigal Son wastes everything, and the Father is joyful about his return. The older son, the “good” son, is disturbed about the Father’s soft heart, but the Father coaxes him to be forgiving also.

Hospitality: The story is also about hospitality. The Father’s love is made visible in a banquet.

Throughout Scripture, salvation and hospitality are tied together. Moses’ sons were named “God saves” and “Be hospitable.” The names of the Lord are “Savior” and “God visits us.” The hospitality of the Last Supper can’t be separated from the saving action of the crucifixion. Hospitality is not a decoration; it is fundamental in a spiritual life.

Christianity without hospitality is a hole in the bucket in the desert.