29 Mar Friday
In some way, as Jesus addresses the parable of the Lost Son to the Pharisees, it seems almost as if to the older brother, and by extension to us. I have known more than one time when I’ve been the older brother, holding back, full of resentment, proud, and feeling better than that other person, a Eucharist crasher. Our own claim to some kind of holiness is seriously invalidated when we lord it over others with our own self-righteousness.
Reconciliation, in other words, involved everyone. The background Hebrew word שןבה “shuvah” has more than one step to it. It means to come to an awareness of when you are sitting, to arise, to turn in the other direction, and then move. The younger son does just this in the parable; the older brother does not. Yet, I think this movement is also the work of the parish.
Lincoln was once asked how he would treat the rebellious South once the Civil War was over. His answer, “As if they had never been away.”