Sunday of the Fourth Week

Four weeks into Lent already! Doesn’t time fly when we’re having a good time.

The Fourth Sunday in Lent reading is the Prodigal Son. We all know the story: a young man takes his inheritance, goes off and has a good time, and runs out of money. He finds himself tending swine and not having anything to eat, so he decides to return to his father’s house and ask to be treated like any other of his father’s workers.

The father forgives him, embraces him, and prepares a feast because his son “was lost and now he is found.”

There are many interpretations of this and I won’t beg the theological questions, but I will point out that rarely do we speak about the older son who is angry at his brother’s return and jealous of the treatment his father lavishes on him.

You never did that for me, the older son tells his father.

The father responds but everything I have is yours….

Sibling rivals. That story is as old as humanity it seems.

It’s a rare family that doesn’t have some kind of strain between siblings. Jealousy, one being treated differently than another, one getting more than another, one having more time with a parent than another. One being smarter, or more successful, or more creative.

If there is strain in your family relations, would this be a good time to forgive? Forgive your parents for their actions; forgive your sibling for his or hers, and most of all, forgive yourself for hanging on to those feelings.

And let them go.

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