Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Malvern Minute


Saturday of the Second Week of Lent

March 14, 2020

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry 


Book of the Prophet Micah

Psalm 103

Luke 15:1-3, 11-22

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1866) tells us that there are sins which are called “capital.” The seven capital sins are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony and sloth.  Today’s Gospel relates the parable of the “Lost Son.”  Throughout Church history many theologians agree that both sons in the story commit all of the seven deadly or capital sins.

First is PrideParents in the past relied on their children to care for them in their old age.  The younger son gives no hint that he would take care of his father when he is old.  What is important to him is his share of his inheritance.  This is a sin of pride which is an inordinate self-centeredness, it is arrogance, combined with egotism and self-will.

Second if AvariceThe younger son wastes what his father worked so hard to accumulate.  Wasting ones possession and hording ones possession are two evils of avarice. 

Third is EnvyThe elder son might have taken note of the prophet Sirach (30:24) which tells us that jealousy and anger shorten life.  But is he jealous because his father is fussing over his younger brother or because he wishes he had been the one to collect his share of his inheritance and squander it in a life of sin.

Fourth is WrathThe older brother says “this son of yours” shows his anger and he throws it into his father’s face with self-centered pouting.  He wants no part of the party his father has arranged for his “lost son.”

Fifth is LustIn verse 30, the elder son accuses his younger brother of ravaging their father’s property with prostitutes.  In lusting we want to gratify a craving for sexual pleasure and this is what the younger son actually did.

Sixth is GluttonyGluttony indicates a much greater interest in food and drink than what is normal to sustain our lives.  Gluttons eat and drink even when they are not hungry or thirsty.  We would expect from the younger son that his sin of gluttony and lust went hand-in-hand.

Seventh is SlothThe younger son reveals that he had been spending his life waiting for someone to “give him his due.”  This is the sin of sloth that is dejection, sluggishness of mind, feeling and spirit. 

To summarize the Seven Capital Sins,” the younger son commits five (pride, avarice, lust, gluttony and sloth.)  Yet his father still forgives him. The elder son commits two capital sins (envy and wrath.)  Yet his father still forgives him.

Each of us is called to reflect on our own sins.  We might ask ourselves whether we are more like the younger or older son.  Our great gift is that God the Father offers us forgiveness and endless love through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  It is up to us to accept the grace God offers us. 

Question of the Day:  Do you have the moral strength to resist committing capital sins? 

Prayer:  Father God,, may everything we do begin with your inspiration, and continue to move forward in our lives with your saving help.



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