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I once was lost, but now I'm found.

March 14, Saturday

Lenten meditations on justice and peace

Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Psalm 103; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

There goes Jesus. Welcoming and eating with sinners. Doesn't he ever think about his public image or what people are gonna say about his strange behavior as he associates with those kinds of people? How could he be doing God's will if he eats with those kinds of people? They have entirely the wrong image for an up and coming rabbi. Their needs and cries for help are endless. They will wear you out.

How does Jesus respond? He tells stories, specifically, about the son of a rich man who takes his cash and runs, loses it and is reduced to utter destitution, who then goes home (he thinks) in disgrace and failure, only to be welcomed with open arms by a loving father. And there's that older and more faithful brother, who seems a bit miffed that the prodigal son was receiving such treatment.

The father displays the compassion preached by Micah -- a son was lost and now has been found. God does not "persist in anger forever, but delights rather in clemency", a fortunate fact of spiritual life for all of us prodigal sons and daughters of the Most High.

Prayer intentions today:

+ For all lost, runaway, and throwaway children and young people, that they will be protected in this time of their extreme danger, and brought to places of safety and reconciliation, we pray to the Lord.

+ For all people who would be righteous, that they will follow the example of Jesus and eat, drink, and have fellowship with sinners.

+ Use the lyrics of the hymn Amazing Grace as a prayer.

Praxis today:

+ Reach out in a special and direct way to any prodigal sons or daughters in your life.

+ Look for some "sinners" and have fellowship with them (or if this is hard, begin by just talking with them).

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