Sunday, February 28, 2016

Maronite Year XXVI

The Sunday of the Parable of the Prodigal Son is somewhat highlighted by its place in Lent, being set with two Sundays on both sides in which the readings are concerned with healing. It stands out as distinctive. All the Sundays of Lent in the Maronite calendar are about the nature of our salvation; but the Parable of the Prodigal Son is far more direct and explicit in its teaching about salvation: we who were lost, return.

Sunday of the Parable of the Prodigal Son
2 Corinthians 13:5-13; Luke 15:11-32

O Christ our God, you are the true Light;
You are the Way who leads to the Father;
You lived among us, showing Your love;
You brought consolation and forgiveness;
You fed the hungry and healed the sick;
You taught us penitence and compassion;
You gave to us the living water.
Let us remember the prodigal son,
who turned from error and turned to faith,
trusting his father, weeping for his sins.

    The prodigal son wanders far,
    but at home a heart is full of love;
    how great is a father's sure love!
    The prodigal understands it not.
    With contrite heart he returns home;
    the father embraces his lost son,
    with rejoicing he comes forward:
    father's love is greater than folly.

    The Son came from the Father's heart;
    from the pure Virgin He appeared,
    bringing the grace of true repentance.
    O Adam, you have wandered far!
    Test yourself! Return to your Father!
    Blessed is the one who trusts the Lord;
    he is like a tree by water's edge,
    defying heat, protected from drought.

O Lord, show Your great mercy to us,
bring us humility and repentance.
Our hearts break with grief and remorse,
but Your heart's love is greater than all things.
May those who have wandered far return.
May those who are in error receive truth.
May the suffering receive Your joy.
May the sorrowing receive great comfort.
And may we, weak, prodigal children,
be freed of pride and hatred by Your cross,
the beacon in the midst of Your Church.
Be our strength, our sure refuge, forever.

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