I'm Catholic
Theology for the common man

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The Sunday readings today underline a merciful attitude of God toward his creation. In the background God appears as a merciful God which is emphasized in the three parables Jesus teaches about. The first reading reveals a discussion of God Yahweh with Moses on the mountain of Sinai where Yahweh wants to make a covenant with his chosen people. While waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain, the people broke a covenant and created a molten calf, an earthly god. The first reaction of God was anger but God Yahweh doesn’t act like earthly gods using anger as a medium for vengeance and choosing new people. After discussion with Moses and taking into consideration the memory and fidelity of their ancestors: Abraham, Isaac and Israel, Yahweh decides to forgive the people of their infidelity and shows them mercy. Of course, the key person is Moses who intercedes for his people. In reality he is a figure and proclamation of Jesus Christ, who on the cross will show the power of this mercy pleading for his people. The only intercession of Jesus Christ, as a new Moses, is able, efficaciously as God, gives forgiveness for his people and their sins. And this intercession works efficaciously, which we can see in the example of the conversion of St. Paul who being a persecutor and murderer became the most zealous propagator of Jesus in his Church. The second reading speaks about this.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees and the scribe teachers were wondering why Jesus was speaking to the tax collectors and sinners. Jesus shows the merciful face of God in his mission and work of salvation on the cross. Jesus explains this in the three parables: about finding a lost sheep which was apart from the flock, about locating a lost coin by a poor women, and about the return of the prodigal son to the house of his father. All of them are complete with immerse joy and with a banquet because of recovering a loss. We can think it is not a logical resolution from the point of view of this world but this is what the mercy of God is exactly about.