Today we held our ‘Spring Fling’ day. Students were encouraged to bring a gold coin donation, dress in their PE uniform and wear a special something with it, to celebrate spring. There were hats, sunglasses, flower leis, hair accessories and even decorations worn on their uniform. We raised over $100 for Catholic Charities.
This Sunday 15 September at 9 a.m., some of our students are celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the first time. Everyone is welcome to attend to celebrate with and support Alannah, Maddie, Ashleigh and Miracle. We pray that God will continue to be with them.
This Sunday’s Gospel is three parables: the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin and perhaps the most well-known, the parable of the prodigal son and his brother (Luke 15: 1-32). The last parable is one of my favourites and I can remember hearing the story of the younger brother at Sunday School when I was very small. The parallel between the forgiving father and his wayward son, and God, the forgiving father and us is a concept that our students identify with easily.
Unfortunately, the older brother and his story are quite often left out because people think that the parable’s main message is in the younger brother’s story or that the Gospel is too long! But just have a read:
25 “In the meantime the older son was out in the field. On his way back, when he came close to the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him, ‘What’s going on?’ 27 ‘Your brother has come back home,’ the servant answered, ‘and your father has killed the prize calf, because he got him back safe and sound.’ 28 The older brother was so angry that he would not go into the house; so his father came out and begged him to come in. 29 But he spoke back to his father, ‘Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends! 30 But this son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes, and when he comes back home, you kill the prize calf for him!’ 31 ‘My son,’ the father answered, ‘you are always here with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’”
The older brother was clearly angry that such a fuss had been made of his brother, considering all that he had squandered in a short amount of time. Although the other half of his father’s property has been given to the older brother, he treats his father disrespectfully by not going into the celebration and with words like ‘this son of yours’.
His father leaves the celebration to speak calmly with his older son, reminding him that “everything I have is yours” and that his brother “was lost, but now he has been found.” Here the parable ends. The younger son responds to the love of his father, asks for forgiveness and joins in the celebration. The older son is filled with righteous indignation. He has never given his father a moment’s worry. It’s not fair!
Jesus left the story open-ended. What happened to the two brothers? How did it end? But where is the Father? Instead of being in the place of honour in the midst of the celebration, he is outside seeking to draw in the rebellious.
Michael Fallon says that we often look for God in the wrong places. God is with those inside celebrating but he is also outside seeking the lost. “All that I have is yours.”
Assistant Principal Religious Identity and Mission