Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Sunday Word

Today we mark the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time. We are just about 10 weeks from the end of Ordinary Time when there'll be Christmas carols in the stores and church choirs will be practicing O Come, O Come, Emmanuel!

Today's first reading, from Exodus, finds God angry with Israel for their idolatry but Moses intercedes and pleads for the Lord's mercy - which is granted - and the Lord relents in the punishment he had threatened. The Gospel is also a message of mercy. The longer form offers includes three parables: the parable of the lost sheep; the parable of the lost coin; and the parable of the lost Son (more popularly known as the prodigal son). The shorter form of the Gospel includes the first two parables but omits the longer of the three, the story of the son which we heard apart from the two shorter parables this past Lent.

The second reading, from the first letter to Timothy and has Paul confessing his sinful past as a blasphemer, persecutor and arrogant son of a gun. Again, the mercy theme appears: Paul hymns Jesus as the one whose mercy reaches even and especially to those least deserving of it.

Much food for thought in all of these scriptures - so don't go hungry!