READING OF THE DAY
First reading from the Book of Exodus
Ex 32:7-11, 13-14
The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
“I see how stiff-necked this people is, ” continued the LORD to Moses.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”
But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.
Second reading from the Letter of St. Paul to Timothy
1 Tm 1:12-17
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Luke
Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”
Then he said,
“A man had two sons, 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.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time –
The Word of God for Us
Dear People of God,
God’s Word in today’s Gospel, God wants to tell people about His immense Mercy for all mankind:
– God’s Mercy has been extended since God began to create the work of Redemption of man.
– God’s Mercy is always given to people, even when people disobey God. It started from the time Adam and Eve disobeyed His command to this day.
God expresses His boundless Mercy through the following stories and parables:
When Moses went up to the mountain to ask for God’s Will. Meanwhile, on the mountain below, the people made a golden ox to worship as if it was a god that could save them. God loves His people. God sees all the mistakes and offenses of the people towards God, but He is still willing to forgive and wait for His children to turn away from their sinful ways and return to God. Therefore, He accepted Moses’ earnest request and forgave His people. Morover, God let Moses continue to lead His people into the promised land. Especially, God’s salvation work continues through the generations.
The Word of God also speaks of Saint Paul: Formerly a sinner, who intensily persecuted the followers of Jesus. However, God’s immense mercy toward Saint Paul transformed him so that he became an apostle to the Gentiles. St Paul is an example for all those who are living in sin, but know to repent and return to God. God is the Father of Mercy, the only One who has mercy on people. It is because of His mercy that God came to earth as a human, sacrificed himself, suffered and died to save mankind. God teaches people to know that God is a merciful Father who is patiently waiting every day for His sinful children to return to Him.
The parable of “the Lost Sheep” shows that God is willing to give up everything to find a lost sheep. There is nothing more precious than a sinner who realizes his mistakes, repents and turns back to God.
God reveals that: Only the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Immaculate Conception, and all other human beings are sinners in need of God’s Mercy. God never abandons any sheep. When God and His angles of the Kingdom of Heaven found a lost sheep, they are overjoyced in the same way that is when a sinner repents and turns away from his sinful ways and returns to God.
That joy is also expressed by God in the parable: “The Lost Coin”. She tried everything to find that silver coin, and when she found it, she was so happy that she invited everyone to come and celebrate because she had found the lost silver coin. God also let us know that in heaven, the heavenly court will also rejoice, enchant and praise God, because a sinner repented and turned back to God.
God also used the parable of “the Merciful Father” who treated the prodigal son with mercy to express the infinite mercy of God. God is always patiently waiting everyda day for the sinful son who left home to return to Him. God rejoices and joyfully opens a feast to celebrate when the sinners return to Him. He will give them the grace of conversion, the grace of faith and the grace of healing when they know how to obey and do the Will of God the Father.
Today, God invites everyone to humbly recognize their weakness and sin before God, to repent of their sins, and plead with God for forgiveness and mercy. God invites people to open their hearts to receive the Word of God and to live and practice according to His Word. Morover, He also invites everyone to love and help others so that they too can enjoy God’s immense mercy as God’s invitation to all mankind: ” Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Thanks be to God. Amen.