September 15th, 2013 – Twenty Fourth Sundy in Ordinary Time – Year C

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The conviction that the God of Jesus is a loving and merciful God is very powerful in today’s gospel, featuring no fewer than three parables to illustrate such conviction.

Through the figures of a man leaving the 99 sheep to find the lost one, a women searching for a single lost coin, and ultimately a “prodigal father” welcoming his lost son, we hear about how Jesus delivers these three parables because the Pharisees and the scribes are scandalized by his attitude towards sinners. To their grumbling, Jesus opposes a threefold invitation to “rejoice” for the finding of the lost sheep, lost coin, lost son. As he does so often, Jesus is challenging them to convert to a new image of God best pictured in the last parable: God is indeed this loving Father who allows his youngest son the freedom to leave with his share of inheritance, but who also keeps waiting for his return and welcomes him warmly as his son, without asking any apology from him as we read these parables.

There remain two questions. Do we believe that we are never lost to the eyes of God? AND, are we going to grumble like the elder son or rejoice when one of our brothers or sisters, who “was dead”, has come to life through God’s mercy