Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

Greatness and mediocrity 

Then he said “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me’ … After a few days, the younger son … set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. Coming to his senses he thought ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father … So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son … His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son’. But his father ordered his servants ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him … Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast … Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back …He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look … yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns …for him you slaughter the fattened calf’. He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again'”.  Lk 15,11-13.17-32

Two characters, in this parable, compete each other in greatness: the father and the prodigal son. The first shows us what the mercy is, the second  what the repentance is. Besides them we also encounter the meanness of the eldest son, one of those good people in the life who do not ever commit big mistakes. Not because of greatness, but because of mediocrity. Often these blameless people are the real obstacle to the mercy and the repentance, fundamental feelings in the family, the church and the society. Unfortunately, the mercy and the meanness do not harbour in different people, but both are within us, because we are all of us mixed of greatness and mediocrity. Give us, Lord, the ability to ponder on this our reality and grant us that we grow in mercy, leaving the judgment to the one who distributes the talents and who knows everything about everyone, also how many hair on the head of each one exist.

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