The Third Sunday in the Preparation for Lent
The Sunday of the Prodigal Son
I used to joke to my friends and fellow cynics during my stay at Northwest College, that the Assemblies of God always schedule their revivals – which always seemed odd to me. But, now as an Orthodox Christian we too are scheduling something of great spiritual import…albeit it somewhat different in scope: we are approaching a time of scheduled REPENTENCE. Great Lent and Pascha, the climax of the Orthodox Liturgical Year.
The five Sundays prior to the beginning of Lent all emphasize certain aspects of the process by which we come to God, each of which is reflected in the Gospel reading assigned for that day. My wife and I are together reading Schmemann’s book “Great Lent” during this season and he describes the first three Sunday’s thus:
1st Sunday – Zacchaeus Sunday: The Desire for God
2nd Sunday – The Publican and the Pharisee: Humility
3rd Sunday – The Prodigal Son: The Return from Exile
In the movie Jesus of Nazareth, Zeffirelli has Jesus using the parable in part to reconcile Peter with Matthew and it is fantastically and beautifully done…it brings tears to my eyes each time I see it. Yes we all easily identify with the prodigal son, but how hard it is for us to see ourselves in the devoted brother.
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 1:54 PM [+]