Year C – Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – September 15, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14; Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19 (R/. Luke 15:18); 1 Timothy 1:12-17; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Luke 15:1-32 or 15:1-10

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” the second reading quotes as a trustworthy saying, deserving acceptance.  In Jesus, we know God as the shepherd who searches out the one sheep who had wandered off, as the homemaker who turns the house upside down to recover a misplaced coin, and as the father welcoming both sons at the table of celebration.  He allows each son the time to “come to his senses” and leaves them free to accept the divine invitation to rejoice in the lost being found and the dead coming back to life.

Jesus, the Father’s obedient Son, does the Father’s will, reaching out with mercy.  We can see ourselves either as one who has wandered off, become accidentally lost, or deliberately gone away, resulting in our being displaced, in a condition of which we are ashamed.  Saddest of all is the one who remains at home but whose heart is far from the Father, living a life marked by bitterness, anger, and resentment.  Christ assures us God cannot wait for us to come back to where we belong, within the Father’s embrace.

How do you identify with the seeker and the one being sought?

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