Reflection: Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

 Mass is conducted in a mix of Cantonese and Mandarin

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering


[1st Reading – Ex.32:7-11,13-14; Ps.50; 2nd Reading – 1Tim.1:12-17; Gospel – Lk.15:1-32]

It is quite easy to ascertain the theme of today’s gospel.  Luke, the gospel writer, tells us at the opening of the gospel, that the tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, while the Pharisees and the Scribes complained that Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them.  The contrast between these two is quite clear.  We have, on one side the tax collectors and sinners contrasted against the Pharisees and the Scribes…  The former, seek the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, while the latter seek Jesus to complain, to say something against him.

Yet, Jesus, as always, gives a direct answer to their complaints explaining why he welcomes sinners and eats with them.  He tells them two simple stories: one about a shepherd who had 100 sheep and looses one, and he also tells them the story of a woman who had ten drachmas and looses one.  (He also tells them the story of the prodigal son which follows in today’s gospel).  Jesus speaks about their tardiness to go out of their way to find the missing ones and therefore how they miss out in the joy that one experience when they find what they’ve lost.  This joy is so great that they invite friends and neighbours to rejoice with them.  The moral of both stories is that the same joy is experienced among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.

Yet, Jesus is not just telling stories about the Shepherd or the Woman to the Pharisees and the Scribes or even the Tax Collectors and the Sinners themselves.  Jesus is using this opportunity to invite all his hearers to do the same thing.  The Pharisees, the Scribes, the Tax Collectors and the Sinners themselves are all ‘lost’ because they are far from God and therefore God (through Jesus) who went through the wilderness and after the missing sheep, is giving them the opportunity to ‘find themselves’ and to return to the Father where there will be joy, not only for themselves, but also amongst the angels of God.  Their joy will be literally ‘out of this world’.  Although Jesus is speaking about ‘the sinners’, at the same time he is telling the Pharisees and the Scribes that they too are sinners who need to find themselves or else let someone else find them.  They need to “light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till…” they find themselves or let Jesus find them.  If they do so and accept the word of Jesus they will return to the Father amongst the joy of angels.  We are sinners too!  But are we ready to give the angels their share of joy because of our “being found”?

“Lord, we acknowledge that we are sinners and we need you to find us.  Give us the humility that we need to experience this joy of being found when we are lost. Thank you Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

[Home]     [Comment]     [中文網站]


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: