Monday, February 29, 2016

Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

Year C - Lent4 or Conviction4
March 6, 2016

If Lent is a time of dealing with temptation, we have here a temptation to separation. It shows up in American politics all too readily these days. It doesn’t make much difference if the venue of this kind of politics is in the family, the church, the community, or the nation.

If I have a grumble then someone ought to do something to feed my emptiness.

This separation theme begins early with the grumbling that Jesus is welcoming and eating with “them”. It seems that “them” is always a setting in which there is a missed opportunity for celebrating. As long as it is “them” we are seeing, there is never a connection necessary for gratitude for someone else, no loving of enemy, much less neighbor.

This temptation keeps the separation game going. As soon as there is one resolution, another division becomes evident. One lost son returning leads to another lost son. And around we go.

Where do you see it possible to break this cycle of separation in a time when any attempt to diffuse the situation becomes a capital offense? You will be exiled from the party and that means loss of financial resources and in a capitalist system that means death.

Whatever you might identify as a way of intervening in the boom-and-bust temptation of separation, is a vocation for you—should you choose to accept it. It is a mission impossible to stand and wait here as well as to jump in and remind folks of a larger common good that will benefit all, not just the rich and want-to-be rich. And what other kind of mission is there?

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