Voices ever ancient, ever new. Lent, Week 2: Saturday

“... and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them.” (Luke 15:12)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“You see that the divine inheritance is given to those who ask. You should not think that the Father was guilty because he gave to the younger son. There is no frail age in the kingdom of God nor is faith weighed down by years. He who made the request surely judged himself worthy. If only he had not departed from his Father, he would not have known the hindrance of age. After he went abroad, he who departed from the church squandered his inheritance. “After,” it says, “leaving his home and country, he went abroad into a distant country.” What is farther away than to depart from oneself, and not from a place?… Surely whoever separates himself from Christ is an exile from his country, a citizen of the world. We are not strangers and pilgrims, but we are “fellow citizens of the saints and of the household of God,” for we who were far away have come near in the blood of Christ. Let us not look down on those who return from a distant land, because we were also in a distant land, as Isaiah teaches. “To them that dwelled in the region of the shadow of death, light has risen.” There is a distant region of the shadow of death, but we, for whom the Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord, live in the shadow of Christ. The church therefore says, “Under his shadow I desired and sat down.” (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 7)

O God, Who grant us by glorious healing
remedies while still on earth
to be partakers of the things of heaven,
guide us, we pray, through this present life
and bring us to that light in which You dwell.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.