Tag Archives: Repentance

24th Sunday of the Year: The Prodigal Son.

Study:  Recall a time when you experienced a moment of profound forgiveness.  How did it change you?

Pray:  Are you holding on to anger and resentment?  Pray for God’s mercy to soften your heart.

Serve:  Is there someone you know in need of mercy?  Is there some way you can help others, especially when they are caught up in shame, embarrassment, or the awkwardness of their weaknesses and sins?

Mass Readings – 24th Sunday of the Year

We hear in the Gospel of Luke the familiar parable of the The Prodigal Son.  It’s worth a moment to touch on a few key points from this passage:

  1. The younger son asks for his inheritance before his time (what kind of person does this?)
  2. The younger son completely wastes the entire inheritance; he has no excuse
  3. The younger son hits “rock bottom” and figures it’s better to be a servant with his dad than starving with the pigs
  4. The Father’s mercy is overwhelming: ring, robe, sandals, fatted calf, and a party
  5. The older son is furious – this is not justice!
  6. The Father is also merciful to his older son as he teaches him about mercy

What a powerful parable!  In our daily lives the need for forgiveness is so compelling that it is vital to dwell on the divine mercy of God and recall our need to return to the Lord in our moments of weakness and sin.

Like both brothers in the parable, we all sin and fall short of God’s grace; yet like the brothers, we also have a Father who loves and welcomes us whenever we seek to turn back.  Both brothers could speak to their Father – in either humility or anger – and the Father responds to both with tenderness.

Today I would like to suggest two key points for our reflection in the light of this passage:

  • How are my sins keeping me from God and others in my life?
  • What steps do I need to take to return to the Lord and receive his grace?

God longs to welcome us back, and when we can humbly embrace our mistakes and sins we discover a grace beyond anything imaginable.  May we have the courage to examine our hearts and return to the Lord – the source of all mercy.

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

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Note: This post was first published on September 5, 2016.

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Daily Mass: The natural consequences of sin. Catholic Inspiration

The Lord reproaches the people of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum because they did not repent when they witnessed the mighty acts of God. We, too, have been given much by God; will we turn to the Lord and live?

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 15th Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


4th Sunday of Lent: The Parable of the Prodigal Son

A man & two sons

Study: Reflect on your life for a moment.  When was a time you really (REALLY) messed up?  When was a time you were upset that others didn’t “get what they deserve” when it came to punishment?

Pray:  What in your life needs God’s forgiveness and mercy right now?  Ask for the Lord’s grace.

Serve:  How can you reach out to others, to foster reconciliation and a new beginning?  How can you help heal a situation in your life?

Mass Readings – 4th Sunday of Lent

Who doesn’t know the parable of the Prodigal Son?  This story told by Jesus has 3 main characters:

  • The Father – who reaches out to his sons
  • The Younger Son – who is reckless and wasteful in his sins
  • The Older Son – who is angry and unwilling to forgive his brother

Let’s start with the Younger Son.  He messes up – no question about that.  He presumes his inheritance, wastes it on sinful living, and is reduced to abject poverty through his own fault.  Finally, at the end of his rope he comes to his senses and asks for mercy, if only to be a servant in his Father’s house.

The Older Son is dutiful, hard working, and faithful.  He does his duty and carries out every command.  Yet when he hears how the Father celebrates his younger brother’s return he is angry…it’s not fair!

Finally the Father.  Note how the Father goes out to both of his sons.  The Father takes the initiative:

  • with the Younger Son he runs out to meet him and assure him a place in the household
  • with the Older Son he goes out to meet him to encourage forgiveness and welcome

Perhaps we might use the next few days to consider this simple question:  Which Son am I?  Have I made some really bad mistakes, caused harm, and wounded relationships with others?  Have I held on to a grudge, nursing old injuries, unwilling to forgive and seek reconciliation?  Or perhaps we are a mixture of both – making our share of messes and denying mercy to those in need.

Whatever we discover about ourselves, we will find our Father who comes to meet us where we are and lead us to a deeper level of grace.  May we return to the Lord in our need and be filled with the grace of healing reconciliation.

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If you are looking for more material to help you this Lent, you might consider this list of presentations I have offered over the last couple of years.  Feel free to check it out and share if you find it helpful:

Podcast Resources for a Powerful Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives

Note: This post was first published on February 29, 2016.


3rd Sunday of Lent: The life changing power of repentance

Like the encounter between Moses and God, life changing moments can happen in the blink of an eye, yet leave an impact that redefines us.  The same thing happens when we carry out the command of the Lord as we repent of our sins.

Mass Readings – 3rd Sunday of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives 


Daily Mass: Responding to the call of repentance. Catholic Inspiration

Jesus refers to the Book of Jonah as he speaks to the people about the need for repentance.  We, too, have the opportunity every day to repent and call upon the Lord for the grace we need to follow as his disciples.

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 1st Week of Lent

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Ash Wednesday

Most of the time we avoid looking at our weaknesses, failures and sins.  Not today.  Today we take a long hard look, examine our conscience, and honestly admit that we are sinners.  Why?  So that freed from the slavery of temptation and sin we can receive the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

Mass Readings – Ash Wednesday

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Catholic Inspiration Archives


Daily Mass: Heaven rejoices when a sinner repents. Catholic Inspiration

Recognizing our sins and asking for forgiveness challenges us to honestly acknowledge our faults and humbly ask for help.  While this is not easy, this process puts us in right relationship with the Lord and one another…allowing us to grow in maturity, wisdom and love.

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 31st Week of the Year

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Catholic Inspiration Archives