Vol: 46, No.50 24TH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR ( C) September 15 2019  
The power of intercession comes to the fore in this passage. God’s anger blazes against the people of Israel when they abandon him by making the golden calf. God plans to wipe this people out and begin anew. Moses begins his mediatory role by pursuing the argument of continuity in history. He tells God that to have the people die in the desert would only provoke ridicule from God’s enemies in Egypt. The action begun in Egypt should be carried on to completion. To abandon Israel now would be to renege on the promises to the patriarchs. In the end God permits the persuasive Moses to win. So compelling is his intercession that God relents from immediate destruction of the people. Nevertheless, as the narrative subsequently reveals, the people do not go unpunished.
Paul’s letters are full of sudden and spontaneous outbursts of praise and thankfulness to God. Paul comes to a realization of God’s mercy against his own past. Once a blasphemer and a violent man, Paul rejoices that God has chosen him for his service. God’s abundant mercy has transformed Paul. It reminds us that God does not hold our past against us when we are in Christ Jesus, Paul wants Timothy to know this.
Today’s gospel contains three parables that deal with the theme of “Lost and Found”. The Parable of the Prodigal Son is the most articulate on this theme. The parable of the Prodigal Son is the most influential and best loved of all the parables. For some it is the gospel within the gospel. The parable of the Prodigal Son is the last one in a series of parables that deal with the theme of losing and finding. In the parable of the Lost Sheep the shepherd goes in search of the sheep he has lost, and in the parable of the Lost Coin the woman searches diligently for the coin she has lost, but in the
parable of the Prodigal Son the father does nothing. He allows the son to depart from the house and does not prevent him. He does not send someone to search for him or bring him home by force. It does not mean that he does not love him. It is simply that the father respects his freedom. It is the son who through suffering has to learn that sin brings death, that what one makes with money lasts only as long as the money lasts.
When the boy has spent everything, a great famine arises in that country, and he begins to be in want. The personal catastrophe is aggravated by a natural one. Draught and famine are not rare in those semi-desert places. So he goes and joins one of the citizens of that country, who sends him into his fields to feed swine. He loses everything. He has been once completely free but now truly he becomes a slave. There is no imagery worse than feeding pigs to describe the religious and moral decadence of the Jewish boy. He looks after the pigs which is the most impure animal.
And he would have gladly fed on the pods that the swine eat; but no one gives him anything. Even the pigs are better nourished than the son who cannot even fill the stomach with the pods that the swine eat. Then the son decides to go back. The moment of conversion comes by means of a twofold enlightenment: with regard to the love of the father and with regard to his own wretched condition.
The encounter between the father and the son is presented very dramatically. While he is yet at a distance, his father sees him and has compassion, and runs and embraces him and kisses him. The father does not wait for his lost son to come to him, but while he is still a long way off, seeing him, he runs to the boy and clasping him in his arms kisses him tenderly as a sign of forgiveness. The son is given robes, ring and shoes. And they make merry. The father stands for God himself. This is how God deals with a lost sinner.
– AK
September 2019

(24th Week in O.T., Year I)

Psalter Week 4
16 Mon (G) Sts Cornelius & Cyprian, 1 Tim 2:1-8/ Ps 28:2, 7, 8-9/ Lk 7:1-10
17 Tue (G) St Robert Bellarmine, 1 Tim 3:1-13/ Ps 101:1-3, 5, 6/ Lk 7:11-17
18 Wed (G) 1 Tim 3:14-16/ Ps 111:1-6/ Lk 7:31-35
19 Thu (G) St Januarius, 1 Tim 4:12-16/ Ps 111:7-10/ Lk 7:36-50
20 Fri (R) Sts Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang & Comps,
1 Tim 6:2-12/ Ps 49:6-10,17-20/ Lk 8:1-3
21 Sat (R) ST MATTHEW, Ap, Ev, Feast, Eph 4:1-7, 11-13/ Ps 19:2-5/ Mt 9:9-13
Email:sundayliturgy@gmail.com Visit us at: www.sundayliturgy.com
Forthcoming Issues
Cycle C
Copyright © 2019 St Pauls India.