Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.
Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis,et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae.
With the Church we pray
O God, who through your Word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come.
In the Mass of Paul VI today’s gospel, if you don’t have catechumens at Mass, is the parable of the Prodigal Son. We know both sons have no clue of who they are persons without the father indicating their moral and human reality. The sons clearly miss the point of their familial sonship. This biblical narrative is heard in the Church as one of the many examples of nature of the Church, especially considering the role of the father. Here we understand the father not only be to biological father of children who need teaching but he stands for the Church who teaches but also reconciles, corrects error but rejoices in a return.
Saint John Chrysostom teaches,
There were two brothers (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32): they divided their father’s goods between them and one stayed at home, while the other went away to a foreign country, wasted all he’d been given, and then could not bear the shame of his poverty…The reason the father let him go and did not prevent his departure for a foreign land was that he might learn well by experience what good things are enjoyed by the one who stays at home. For when words would not convince us God often leaves us to learn from the things that happen to us. When the profligate returned…,the father did not remember past injuries but welcomed him with open arms…Are you asking: ‘Is this what he gets for his wickedness?’ Not for his wickedness, but for his return home; not for sin, but for repentance; not for evil, but for being converted.