24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C)
There is a well-known English hymn called “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy”. That is precisely what today’s readings are all about. The author, Frederick William Faber, was a convert from Anglicanism and friend of Blessed John Henry Newman, himself a convert who will be canonized on October 13. It is as if converts experience the mercy of God in a particular way.
We, on the other hand, seem to take God’s mercy towards us for granted, and maybe even begrudge it to others: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them” (Lk 15:2).
What comes to mind when reading the parable of the prodigal son—or rather, of the merciful father? We all want to be that son: forgiven, embraced, welcomed with open arms. Yet, the Lord calls us to be the father of the story as well, not just by forgiving but by pleading for forgiveness for others, as Moses does in the first reading (Ex 32:11-13).
St. Paul says in the second reading that he has been “mercifully treated” (1 Tim 1:13). If we look deep within, we will find that we also have been mercifully treated. Let us extend that mercy to all we encounter this week. God bless you.