Gospel Reflections

24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 15:1-32

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Nancy Rowen

Published: September 11, 2016

“Tell me the story,” the child says… over and over. Why do we want to hear this long story again? It is too good to be true, isn’t it?

Today, Jesus gives us glimpses into the heart of God and allows us to linger with the extravagant and incredibly generous mercy and love God has for every single one of his children.

WHO wants to hear these stories? We do! Every human heart WANTS to believe it, to experience being lavishly received beyond measure, cherished, forgiven, found again, fully restored at the deepest level of our being. The least likely, those judged to be undesirable, were the ones “drawing near to listen to Jesus.”

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them,” complained the Pharisees. They themselves prized each and every lamb in their flocks and guarded every bit of property and money. They could easily identify with the great joy of the owner. Knowing his audience, Jesus begins with such exaggerations: only one of 99 sheep, one in 10 coins; then, one son deserving the painful, just consequences of his actions, discovers that is not at all what he receives. Rather, unimaginable goodness pours out upon him as he is welcomed home. How shocking!

To allow God to be and to do this… specifically for the ones who don’t deserve it, including ourselves,… is an act of Faith. God knows it is too much for us… so Jesus’ story helps us remember one more time.

Pope Francis encourages us to practice our faith: “Do not be afraid to be joyful!” It is a CHOICE to rejoice in undeserved blessings given or received; a CHOICE never to give up on anyone, including myself; a CHOICE to trust God is truly like this. Cultivate the practice. Allow the transformation. Each of us is a child of the forgiving Father, the gentle Shepherd, the ultimate Homemaker. This is our Good God.

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