prodigal son

I wish to know in this way if you love the Lord and me, His servant and yours: that there is not any brother in the world who has sinned – however much he could have sinned – who, after he has looked into your eyes, would ever depart without your mercy, if he is looking for mercy.  And if he were not looking for mercy, you would ask him if he wants mercy.  And if he would sin a thousand times before your eyes, love him more than me so that you may draw him to the Lord: and always be merciful with brothers such as these…

St. Francis of Assisi, “A Letter to a Minister,” 97-98

Scripture for the day:  And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need…And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:11-14, 20-24)

Lenten action for the day: When someone wrongs you, rather than demanding that he or she make up for what they have done, demonstrate mercy by “letting them off the hook”.

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