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Posts Tagged ‘Parables of Mercy’

Download 24th Sunday Reflection Document

Reflection Questions

  1. Turning to God and receiving Godʼs forgiveness is at the centre of the readings this week. In the first reading God has just revealed his ʻnameʼ and ʻfaceʼ to Moses and given Israel guidelines for their living (10 Commandments). Israel is pictured as restless. They have been waiting for Moses to reveal God to them. They give up waiting. They want something ʻvisibleʼ. They make an ʻidolʼ of a golden calf – an ancient symbol of fertility, life, fruitfulness. Godʼs love and tenderness meets human rebellion. Have you had an experience of ʻwaitingʼ for God? Did you decide to make a ʻcalfʼ instead? Is there anything today you are ʻwaitingʼ for God to show you? Have you taken the time to listen to his ʻwordʼ or sought the advice of a ʻMosesʼ whom God wishes to speak through? Who is a Moses figure you could go to?
  2. The second reading is omitted so as to focus upon the Parable of Mercy – the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost son. Jesus is seeking to shatter a human misunderstanding and image of God. Who would go after 1 lost sheep and leave 99? Who would tip upside down a house to find 1 coin? Who would welcome home without question a son who wished his Father dead and totally disgraced the family in public?! The Father is an image of what God is truly like – wanting to find whoever is lost, and embracing with forgiveness all who have sinned. What ʻimageʼ of God do you have in your heart and mind from your family and religious experience? What fresh image or new understanding attracts you in Luke 15?
  3. Tax Collectors and Sinners were excited but Pharisees and Scribes were complaining. The religious issue was who does God ʻincludeʼ and welcome into the heavenly ʻbanquetʼ (heaven). Some could not accept Jesusʼ inclusivity as it turned their religious world-view ʻupside downʼ. What is the deep reason the older son wants to exclude his younger brother? Is this attitude present in your life?
  4. The young son commits the biggest sin possible for a young Jewish person (asking for the inheritance was like wishing Dad was ‘dead’). Yet the father’s love does not change. Do you feel distant from God because of something you have done …. will you accept the love that the Father shows to his child is the same love that is shown to you? Would you accept this love is given to you in the sacrament of reconciliation? What holds you back?
  5. Identify the thoughts and feelings of each character, the younger son, the older brother, the Father. Which character do you identify more strongly with? Why?
  6. The Father does a number of humiliating actions which show the depth of his love. The Father runs in public. It was unbecoming for a Jewish elder to show one’s ankles in public. It is the equivalent of ‘baring one’s bottom’. The crowds attention is now drawn away from the son and the possibility of hurting him. The father accepts the humiliation, in front of the whole community, of the older son angry and argumentative. Does the older son wish the father was dead too? Does anyone appreciate the Fathers love? If this is what God is like toward you what is your response?
  7. What is one action that you will do to be livingthewordʼ this week?