Meditation for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time C: “The merciful love of the Father” – Vatican News

Jesuit Father Flavien Zolabi introduces us to meditation, with the readings for the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time of liturgical year C.

First lecture: Ex 32.7-11.13-14

Psalm: Ps 50 (51), 3-4, 12-13, 17,19

Second reading: 1 Tim 1,12-17

gospel: Luke 15,1-32

Dear brothers and sisters, the texts of this Sunday’s liturgy invite us to meditate on the merciful love of our God. The first reading, taken from the book of Exodus, tells us how after the Hebrew people had seriously sinned by creating and worshiping a material god, the golden calf, God announced to Moses a punishment against this people. But Moses interceded for the people with God, and through his earnest prayer the Lord renounced his anger and forgave the children of Israel for their idolatry.

In the second reading, Saint Paul tells us about his own experience of divine mercy. The Lord forgave him his life as a blasphemer and persecutor of Christians, and made him his great apostle. And the great humility with which Paul expresses his experience challenges us. He says in effect:Christ came into the world to save sinners; and me first, I am a sinner. But if Christ forgave me, it was so that I would be the first in whom all his generosity would manifest itself; I should be the first example of those who would believe in him for eternal life“. Are we not often tempted rather to believe ourselves to be just and without sin, and to see sins only in others?

Saint Luke in the Gospel tells us of the three parables through which Jesus clearly teaches this mercy of the Father towards sinners. Remember that Jesus told these parables in reaction to the Pharisees and scribes who accused him of welcoming sinners and eating with them.

Two fundamental attitudes characterize these parables: the search for what is lost and the invitation to joy. In fact, in the first parable, the shepherd abandons his 99 sheep to seek out only one who is lost; while in the second, the woman expends so much energy in searching carefully for one of her ten pieces of silver; and in the third, the father was there watching for the return of his youngest son. He had however taken his autonomy and had gone to spend the share of inheritance that he had forced his father to give him. On the other hand, in these parables, the discovery of the sheep and the lost coin, like the reunion with the prodigal son, are experienced as a reason for joy that the unfortunate wish to share with those around them: “rejoice with me…The murmurings of the Pharisees and scribes therefore show that they do not yet understand the logic of God, who rejoices in the conversion of sinners and invites them to share his joy.

Brothers and sisters, like the sons of Israel in the desert, or like the prodigal son of today’s gospel, we Christians today sin against our God through various forms of idolatry: money, power, personal success, indifference to others, etc. But our God always remains faithful, slow to anger and full of love. He is watching us, always hoping for our conversion, our return to him. And, he will never tire of forgiving us. Let us ask him today to open our hearts and minds to his infinite mercy and help us to become a little more merciful to one another ourselves.

Meditation for the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time C with Father Flavien Zolabi, SJ

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Meditation for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time C: “The merciful love of the Father” – Vatican News

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