Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Ex: 32: 7-11, 3-14 Tim: 1: 12-17 Luke 15: 1-10
How appropriate that the Church labels this period of the liturgical year Ordinary Time, as for many, vacations are memories, and in one form or another, we are back in school, learning and discovering.
The allotted readings each day challenge us to learn something about the human condition and connect that knowledge to a deeper awareness of who God is in our present-day life and world. With that in mind, the following is a thumbnail - sketch of the three readings, followed by a Personification Test, if one chooses to dive into another level of learning.
Moses was an outstanding person in Hebrew history, one who responded to God’s call to leadership. It is evident today that not only was Moses challenged, but also he, in turn, stayed in the conversation with God and was able to influence a dramatic outcome. What a history-making question he posed when he said: “Why, O Lord should your wrath blaze up against your own people …?” The response saved the sojourners who time and time again were unfaithful. However, Moses was on a mission and was able to speak up and defend them, when even God, had given up on them.
Paul is the historical personification of conversion from evil to good. His lesson was learned from a dramatic accident of being knocked off his horse and blinded. With recovered vision, he traveled and spoke out relentlessly so that the saving power of God would touch the lives of anyone who accepted his message. Paul’s admission of arrogance humbled him to accept the grace of God. “Christ came into the world to save sinners. Of these, I am foremost.”
The man and woman presented in the short form of Luke’s gospel are persons who made decisions while experiencing loss. Both have abundance, and each spends time and energy in reclaiming that which is no longer visible to them.
The shepherd goes after one sheep while the ninety-nine continue to graze without getting into trouble. In finding that one stray, he joyfully brings it back for re-entry into the fold.
The woman with ten coins takes time and energy to clean the whole house, and upon finding that piece of little value, calls in everyone she knows for a celebration.
The Personification Test
1. Can you be Moses and pray (dialogue with God) and change your life situation or the situation of others?
2. Can you be a Paul who diminishes the ego, becomes humble, and works to right the wrongs in your personal and global world?
3. What are you shepherding? Can you risk leaving your responsibilities to save something other than your present endeavors?
4. Like the widow, do you value the small things in life and celebrate them?
Sister Dorothy Maxwell, OP