September 11, 2016

24th Sun., Ordinary Time

September 11, 2016:  Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

See 18 connections with today?Legend below
Thanks to theme-dresser Barbie at Trader Joe's for snapping photo


For 1st reading
For Psalm 51
For the gospel
Thanks to Ed Bolduc
Pope Francis
Angelus:  In these parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son, Jesus wants to make us understand that God the Father is the first to have a welcoming and merciful attitude toward sinners.  The parables express joy and rejoicing, not sadness and sorrow.  The gospel reading gives hope; there's no sin we've fallen into from which, by God's grace, we can't rise; no one is beyond redemption, because God always wants our good, even when we sin.
Jubilee audience:  The little used word ‘redemption’ is important; it points to the most radical liberation God can perform.  Many no longer think of being liberated and saved by God's intervention.  How many illusions are sold as freedom, and how many new forms of slavery are being created in the name of freedom!  People become slaves in the name of freedom:  "I'm free; I take drugs because I like it."  They're slaves!  We need God to deliver us from indifference, selfishness, and self-sufficiency.
We've been called to a new state of life.  By becoming one of us, Jesus raises us up to the possibility of being God's children.  He conquered death and sin to free us from their domination and give us a new life of forgiveness, love, and joy.  He redeemed, liberated, and saved all he assumed.  In moments of testing and suffering, turn to the crucified Jesus, who suffers for and with us, never abandoning us. Never forget that in anguish, persecution, and everyday suffering , God's merciful hand frees us, raises us to himself, and leads us to new life.
God's love has no limits; we discover ever-new signs of God’s attention to us.  Our life, though marked by sin, is under the gaze of God who loves us.  God has great tenderness, great love, for children, the weak, those discarded by society.  The more we're in need, the more he looks on us with mercy, showing compassion because he knows our weakness.  He knows our sins and always forgives!  Open yourself to him and receive his grace.  "With the Lord is mercy and fullness of redemption.

  • Ex 32:7-11, 13-14  Lord to Moses:  “Your people turned from me, worship a calf.  Let me consume them.”  Moses:  “Remember your oath to multiply descendants and give land”  Lord relented.
  • Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19  "I will rise and go to my father."  Have mercy; wash me from my guilt; cleanse me of sin.  You won't spurn a contrite heart.
  • 1 Tm 1:12-17  Christ showed mercy, strengthened and trusted me, came to save, appointed me to serve, shows his patience in me.  Lord's grace, faith, love are abundant.  Glory to God!
  • Lk 15:1-32  As shepherd rejoices upon finding lost sheep, so heaven over repentant sinner.  As woman rejoices upon finding lost coin, so angels over repentant sinner.  Prodigal father and son:  Father gives younger son his inheritance.  He squanders it, finds self in need, comes to senses, returns.  Father embraces him.  Son apologizes; father celebrates son come back to life, pleads with angry older son:  "Rejoice; your brother was lost and has been found.”
"Prodigal Son" gallery
Return of the Prodigal Son
The prodigal son tends his swine/ Sebald Beham
The return of the prodigal son
Return of the Prodigal Son/ Batoni
Return of the Prodigal Son
Rembrandt van Rijn
Prodigal Son/ Mayer
    • Creighton:  "Mission with a Passion":  Today's 2nd reading is Jesus’ mission statement:  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”   It's the purpose of his life, his reason for taking on human flesh and living our life, the reason for his life, death and resurrection. Today's parables tell us his motivation and disposition; each reveals the heart of God, his passion seen in Jesus and directed toward sinners:  the shepherd's searching for the lost sheep, the woman's looking for the lost coin, the rejoicing at their finding find their greatest expression in the rejoicing that takes place at their finding.  The Father passionately searches and rejoices over found sinners.  The Prodigal Son parable reveals the One who waits patiently and rejoices at a sinner's return.  We're the object of God’s search, the recipients of his loving gaze, the source and cause of his joy, when we let ourselves be found.  Imagine that....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Longing to belong":  After the Israelites' idolatry, the Lord gave Moses the impression that the people belonged to Moses; Moses implored the Lord and referred to them as the Lord's.  The younger son felt he no longer belonged in his father's family after what he'd done, and his brother agreed, but their father still spoke of him as "this son of mine."  "Once you were no people, but now you're God's people."  We belong to God, peculiarly his own.  "You're not your own; you've been bought at a price."  I rejoice that the Creator and Redeemer owns me.  "I've been crucified with Christ, and my life is not my own; Christ lives in me."
    • Passionist:  In the lost sheep parable, the shepherd, representing God, leaves an entire flock to search for a single sheep.  God loves us like that, impractical, reckless.  In the lost coin parable, the woman, representing the Wisdom of God, searches frantically for her lost currency, and upon finding it invites her friends and neighbors to celebrate with her.  Wisdom herself is searching for something small but precious to her:  you and me.  God searches till he finds us!
    •  "Your brother was lost and is found":  God doesn't rejoice in the loss of anyone but searches for the till they're restored and united with the community of heaven.  Jesus told today's parables in response to the scribes and Pharisees' disapproval with his close contact with people of bad reputation.  Jews despised tax collectors because they often forced the people to pay more than they owed, and sinners were a scandal.  The religious leaders took offense at Jesus because he met with them all and treated them like friends, offering them forgiveness, mercy, healing, and the promise of full restoration with God and his kingdom.   An isolated sheep could become easy prey for wolves and lions; a shepherd would naturally rejoice when he finds and restores a lost sheep.  The wife's lost coin was worth her husband's daily wage; finding it saved the family from suffering and was also a cause for rejoicing.  Both searched till they found what they lost, then share their joy with the community.  The poor are good at sharing each other's sorrows and joys. in Jesus taught that the lost sinners must be sought out.  God wants all to be saved and restored to fellowship with him.  May we pray for and seek the lost.
    Jesus' parable of the prodigal father has three parts:  the younger son's offensive behavior, the father's extravagant love for him, and the older son's resentment of his father and brother.  The younger son "came to his senses"; desperate to stay alive, he hoped his father would take pity and hire him.  The father actually treated him with affection and tears of joy, then restored him.  Jesus contrasts the father's merciful love with the elder son's rejection of his brother and his refusal to welcome him.  The younger son realized he hadn't returned his father's love.  His humiliation and reflection led to his repentance, return, reconciliation, and restored relationship.  The father's actions spoke of forgiveness and new life.  The son couldn't return to his innocence, but he was reinstated as a son; his change expresses resurrection and rebirth.  The parable also contrasts mercy with unwillingness to forgive.  The wronged father was forgiving and merciful, but elder son, who hadn't been wronged, was unforgiving, proud, resentful, and became isolated and estranged.  God is generous, kind, and forgiving; he never gives up when we stray, he leads us, and he's happy to welcome us home.
    Dress legend
    • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  “Your people made and are worshiping a molten calf" (1st reading)
    • 'Fire' pin:  "Let my wrath blaze up and consume them" / "Why should it?" (1st reading) 
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "You brought them out of Egypt with a strong hand" (1st reading)
    • 'Star' tie pin:  "I'll make your descendants as numerous as the stars" (1st reading)
    • 'Heart' pin:  "A clean heart create for me" (psalm)
    • 'Dove' pin:  "Don't take your Holy Spirit from me" (psalm)
    • 'Boundless mercy' pin from Congress 2016:  "I have been mercifully treated" (2nd reading)
    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Lost sheep (gospel)
    • 'Coin' tie bar:  Lost coin (gospel)
    • 'Money' tie:  Father gave son his share of the estate (gospel)
    • 'Pigs' suspenders:  Younger son hired himself out to tend the swine (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  Father caught sight of son returning home (gospel)
    • Wedding ring and sandals (not shown), 'feet' pin:  "Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet" (gospel)
    • 'Calf' pin:  "Slaughter the fattened calf..." (gospel)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar"  "...then let's celebrate with a feast" (gospel)
    • 'Clef' pin:  Older sound heard sound of music and dancing (gospel)
    • '9-11-01' pin in memory of the terror attacks 15 years ago
    • Green shirt:  Ordinary Time season

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