Saturday, September 11, 2010
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – C
EXODUS 32:7-11, 13-14
Yahweh then said to Moses, 'Go down at once, for your people whom you
brought here from Egypt have become corrupt. They have quickly left
the way which I ordered them to follow. They have cast themselves a
metal calf, worshipped it and offered sacrifice to it, shouting,
"Israel, here is your God who brought you here from Egypt!" ' Yahweh
then said to Moses, 'I know these people; I know how obstinate they
are! So leave me now, so that my anger can blaze at them and I can put
an end to them! I shall make a great nation out of you instead.' Moses
tried to pacify Yahweh his God. 'Yahweh,' he said, 'why should your
anger blaze at your people, whom you have brought out of Egypt by your
great power and mighty hand? Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, to whom you swore by your very self and made this promise: "I
shall make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, and this
whole country of which I have spoken, I shall give to your
descendants, and it will be their heritage for ever." Yahweh then
relented over the disaster which he had intended to inflict on his
FIRST TIMOTHY 1:12-17
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength. By calling
me into his service he has judged me trustworthy, even though I used
to be a blasphemer and a persecutor and contemptuous. Mercy, however,
was shown me, because while I lacked faith I acted in ignorance; but
the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is
in Christ Jesus. Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody
should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I
myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it
is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the leading example of his
inexhaustible patience for all the other people who were later to
trust in him for eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying,
invisible and only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round to
listen to him, and the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, 'This
man welcomes sinners and eats with them.' So he told them this
parable: 'Which one of you with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would
fail to leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the missing
one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take
it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his
friends and neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, I have found
my sheep that was lost." In the same way, I tell you, there will be
more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-
nine upright people who have no need of repentance. 'Or again, what
woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and
sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then,
when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbors, saying
to them, "Rejoice with me, I have found the drachma I lost." In the
same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over
one repentant sinner.'
After listening to today's gospel reading, containing two parables in
which God welcomes the repentant sinner, you may be expecting a
reflection on repentance or forgiveness. Rather, let us look at
today's gospel reading from another angle, that of biblical
In the Bible, the banquet is a most common theme describing the people
of God. It is both a source and a sign of communion among people, and
also between people and God. Those participating in a meal share the
same source of life, which creates among them an identity of life.
Jesus' eating habits were forever getting him into trouble. Jesus
welcomed the outcasts of society into table fellowship with himself in
the name of the Kingdom of God. It is hard to imagine anything more
offensive to Jewish sensibilities.
That offensiveness is at work in today's gospel reading. Eating with
rich Pharisees is one thing, but eating with people like Zacchaeus,
tax collectors working for the hated Roman empire, drove the Jewish
establishment to hatred towards Jesus. For this, they inevitably
nailed Jesus to a cross. As a matter of gospel fact, by Jesus'
criteria, the outcasts of society are Jesus' brothers and sisters.
Strangers or not, friend or foe, they are welcome to his banquet. In
fact, Jesus goes looking for strays, along the byways of life. Jesus
instructs his host, "When you give a feast, invite those who are poor,
who are maimed, who are lame, who are blind, and you will be blessed,
because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection
of the just."
Biblical hospitality is not a performance at which we cast side
glances to gauge how our acts are received and applauded by guests.
Rather, it is a selfless act, done out of poverty of spirit without
regard for reward, even to the degree of being demonized and labeled
as a glutton and a drunkard. Supper with the Lord, who may well come
among us as a homeless stranger results in mutually giving and
receiving, host and guest. All become one.
Biblical hospitality is to share the bread of life that is broken for
us, to extend the cup of living water to all who thirst, to offer life
in the hidden places where lost coins and lost sheep tend to hide, to
invite each and all to the celebration that has no end. Our calling as
followers of Christ is to exemplify the acceptance that is in Jesus,
even and especially to sinners and outcast.
As Christians, we should bear witness, amidst the idolatries of this
world, to the difference that faith makes, in offering hospitality
with the whole of one's being to the well-being of others, even unto
martyrdom. That our fellowship is extended even to our enemies, will
make clear the difference that faith makes in the moral life of the
people of God. And so we know what is meant by "a light unto the
nations". As Christians we are called upon to spread the Good News of
Jesus Christ. To do so, we have to live in the way that manifests and
exemplifies the life and grace of Jesus, the gentle, self-giving love
that empties itself.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
-Magsikap B. Mole
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
-Birthday: Donnie J. Salvador
-Birthday: Luz S. Lim
-In Memoriam (+): Benito T. Tan (Aug 23, 1922-Sept 12, 1998)
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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