Saturday, September 14, 2013
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C
September 15, 2013
Memorial, Our Lady of Sorrows
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C
Ex 32:7-11,13-14 / Ps 51: 3-4. 12-13. 17. 19 / 1 Tim 1:12-17 / Lk 15:1-32 or 15:1-10
Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have quickly turned from the way I commanded them and have made for themselves a molten calf; they have bowed down before it and sacrificed to it and said: 'These are your gods, Israel, who brought you out of Egypt.'" And Yahweh said to Moses, "I see that these people are a stiff-necked people. Now just leave me that my anger may blaze against them. I will destroy them, but of you I will make a great nation." But Moses calmed the anger of Yahweh, his God, and said, "Why, O Yahweh, should your anger burst against your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with a mighty hand? Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the promise you yourself swore: I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land I spoke about I will give to them as an everlasting inheritance." Yahweh then changed his mind and would not yet harm his people.
1 Timothy 1:12-17
I give thanks to Christ Jesus, our Lord, who is my strength, who has considered me trust worthy and appointed me to his service, although I had been a blasphemer, a persecutor and a rabid enemy. However he took mercy on me because I did not know what I was doing when I opposed the faith; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, together with faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is true and worthy of belief: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first. Because of that I was forgiven; Christ Jesus wanted to display his utmost patience so that I might be an example for all who are to believe and obtain eternal life. To the King of ages, the only God who lives beyond every perishable and visible creation—to him be honor and glory forever. Amen!
Meanwhile tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what he had to say. But the Pharisees and the scribes frowned at this, muttering, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus told them this parable: "Who among you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and seek the lost one till he finds it? And finding it, will he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders? Then he will call his friends and neighbors together, and say, 'Celebrate with me, for I have found my lost sheep!' I tell you, in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner, than over ninety-nine decent people, who do not need to repent. What woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one, will not light a lamp, and sweep the house in a thorough search, till she finds the lost coin? And finding it, she will call her friends and neighbors, and say, 'Celebrate with me, for I have found the silver coin I lost!' I tell you, in the same way, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner." Jesus continued, "There was a man with two sons. The younger said to his father, 'Give me my share of the estate.' So the father divided his property between them. Some days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and started off for a distant land, where he squandered his wealth in loose living. Having spent everything, he was hard pressed when a severe famine broke out in that land. So he hired himself out to a well-to-do citizen of that place, and was sent to work on a pig farm. So famished was he, that he longed to fill his stomach even with the food given to the pigs, but no one offered him anything. Finally coming to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired workers have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will get up and go back to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against God, and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me then as one of your hired servants.' With that thought in mind, he set off for his father's house. He was still a long way off, when his father caught sight of him. His father was so deeply moved with com- passion that he ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. The son said, 'Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.' But the father turned to his servants: 'Quick!' he said. 'Bring out the finest robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Take the fattened calf and kill it! We shall celebrate and have a feast, for this son of mine was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found!' And the celebration began. Meanwhile, the elder son had been working in the fields. As he returned and approached the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what it was all about. The servant answered, 'Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father is so happy about it that he has ordered this celebration, and killed the fattened calf.' The elder son became angry, and refused to go in. His father came out and pleaded with him. The son, very indignant, said, 'Look, I have slaved for you all these years. Never have I disobeyed your orders. Yet you have never given me even a young goat to celebrate with my friends. Then when this son of yours returns, after squandering your property with loose women, you kill the fattened calf for him.' The father said, 'My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But this brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found. And for that we had to rejoice and be glad.'"
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is definitely one of the most famous stories in Sacred Scriptures. More than anything, the story truly highlights the father as the center or focus, for in him we somehow get a glimpse of our God as Father. He is indeed a prodigal father with his generous and unconditional love for his sons even though they may have taken him for granted, and worse, insult him as the younger son did. We see in the story how the younger son asked for his share of the inheritance even though his father was still very much alive. But being the good father that he is, he willingly granted the request of his son. He could have lambasted this erring son, for what he requested was like saying that he could not wait for his father to die before he gets what is due him. Yet, this did not deter him from pouring out totally and fully his love and understanding to his erring sons.
Meanwhile, let us focus on the older son who is equally treated well by the father but somehow also fails as regards his response to the father's plea. When the father said to the older brother, "All I have is yours," there is indeed truth to what the father said, for in Jewish law, a father could legally pass on his property to his sons either by a will or a gift made during his own lifetime. According to the law, the eldest son received two-thirds of the property while the rest was divided among the remaining sons. In the case of our story, since there are only two sons, the younger son receives one third. The father can keep for himself the income derived from the property until his death. Since the younger son has already asked for his share, whatever is remaining belongs to the older son who is now the sole heir.
Some of us can then readily identify with the older son for there are times when we never look at ourselves as children of our parents. We have to do so many things in order to feel deserving or entitled to their love for us and the corresponding blessings. Yet, on further reflection, we are simply blessed because our Father in heaven is more than willing to grant us what we will never ever deserve. What is unfortunate is that we are never contented and continue to complain. Like the sons in this parable, we, to a greater or lesser degree, experience what it is to be lost and misguided due to our weaknesses as we forget that we are loved and valued by God. And thus, there is the desire to be found. And when this happens, the natural consequence is to rejoice. We are blessed that we have a Father who has unconditional love for us and is simply happy when we, his erring children, go back to Him amid the many times that we simply take Him for granted and worse, we do not even acknowledge His graciousness on us. Let us then be grateful for having a Father who is always on the lookout for our eventual return to Him.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
Deacon Nick Vietri, Annette Sturhmans
Lourdes, Jun, Aileen
… for the personal intentions of Medi
.. Birthday: Emy A Dimayuga , Ricardo Villanueva Jr, Elton Villanueva
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
Birthday: Michelle Encarnacion Acero
… for families who are in need of healing
… 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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