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Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Elder Son

"Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf." Lk 15 29-30
The healing of broken relationships in families, parishes and religious communities is one of the most important tasks each of us faces. Every society and every church knows the devastating effects of separations that hurt not only those directly involved, but everyone touched by those who are at odds.

In Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve step programs, the fourth and fifth steps which encourage addicts to search their hearts and admit their wrongs to God, themselves and another person are essential for sobriety and a renewed life. When these steps are not taken, everyone suffers, sometimes to death, and while making amends (Step 8) is not always successful, it is absolutely necessary for anyone who wants to begin a new life each day.

The gospel today is very demanding in this regard. Because the elder son harbors a grudge against his brother and father, he cannot see with God's eyes. Only when he can accept his father's joy at his brother's return will he be able to let go of everything that keeps him from God. The same is true for all of us.

Today, acknowledge your faults.

How do you seek reconciliation in your life?

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