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Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time — Sept. 11, 2022

Bishop’s Reflections

September 11, 2022

Every Sunday, Bishop Edward Malesic writes a Scripture reflection for the faithful. Follow the bishop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Click HERE for the readings.

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time — Sept. 11, 2022

Today Jesus gives us the famous parable of the Prodigal Son. It is also the story of the loving father.

This particular passage from the Gospel of Luke has Jesus being scorned by Pharisees and scribes because he was eating with tax collectors and sinners. To this Jesus says to them, “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?” The answer is that no reasonable shepherd would leave the entire flock alone in order to search out for just one sheep. That would be crazy! Which one of us would leave a million dollars on a table outside because we felt the need to search for the one dollar that had been lost a block away? None of us would be so insane! However, that is the point that Jesus is trying to make. God is crazy in his desire for us and will do anything to search for and save one soul. God loves each of us that much.

To make this point clearer, Jesus then tells the parable of the Prodigal Son and the loving father. The Son basically tells his dad that he wishes him dead. He takes his inheritance before his father’s death and spends it away on sinful activity. Then he comes to his senses and regrets what he has done. He goes back to the father with a pre-rehearsed apology, wanting only to be a hired hand in order to get some food and some shelter. His father, seeing his son returning on the horizon, does not wait for him. He runs out to meet him. The son begins his rehearsed apology, but before he finishes what he had prepared, his father forgives him and welcomes him home with a great banquet.

This is what happens every time we make a return to our loving Father and confess our sins with sorrow in our hearts. God is quick to forgive us. God is always seeking out the lost heart — including our own. He is madly in love with us.

Why would our supreme God care so much for each of us who are as numerous as the grains of sand by the shore? It does not make sense. He is like a shepherd who is willing to leave the ninety-nine in the desert to go after the one lost sheep until he finds it. Or, alternatively, God is like a rejected father who doesn’t scold his wayward son when he returns, but throws the finest party imaginable instead.

Yes, you are loved by a crazy God. Thank God for that!

Have a blessed week everyone.

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