Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“The Prodigal Son.”

The theme of mercy pays a central role in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. This week Jesus presents us with three parables of mercy, the greatest of which is the story of the prodigal son who is welcomed home by the Father. We’ll concentrate on the Gospel this week.

The nature of these three parables is to present to us a picture of God, a God who rejoices over us when we turn to him and allow him to forgive us. In the first two parables God actively searches for that which is lost. In the prodigal son, the Father runs to his child and embraces him with love. The invitation this week is to allow God to find us and embrace us with his merciful love.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant/child is listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.



The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. ‘This man’ they said, ‘welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ So he spoke this parable to them. (Luke 15:1-3)

  • Would you call yourself a sinner seeking Jesus?
  • Have you ever felt like complaining about Jesus’ acts?
  • When do you seek the company of Jesus
  • Listen to the Lord who speaks to you in parables.



“Rejoice with me,” he would say, “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance. (Luke 15:6-7)

  • When have you experienced finding something?
  • Reflect on the rejoicing in heaven whenever you’ve been forgiven.
  • Have you ever felt that you have no need of repentance?
  • Let the Lord share with you his rejoicing over you.



What woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it? And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” she would say, “I have found the drachma I lost.” (Luke 15:8-9)

  • Have you ever searched frantically for something lost?
  • Reflect on how God searches frantically for you.
  • What is most valuable to you in your life?
  • Let the Lord tell you of the value he places on you.



‘I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called you son; treat me as one of your paid servants.’ So he left the place and went back to his father. (Luke 15:18-19)

  • When have you come to a realisation that you’ve made a mistake?
  • How easy is it to go back and admit what you’ve done wrong?
  • What would the boy’s fears be as he set off?
  • Let the Lord open you heart to his love.



While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to be boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. (Luke 15:20)

  • What does being moved with pity feel like?
  • Who do you long to clasp in your arms?
  • When have you experienced reconciliation?
  • Let the Lord clasp you tenderly in his arms.



(The elder son) was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends.  (Luke 15:28-29)

  • Have you ever felt hard done by in your family?
  • Reflect on the image the elder brother has of his father.
  • Can you imagine thinking of God like that?
  • Let the Lord reveal to you the true image of the Father.



The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it is only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found. (Luke 15:31-32)

  • What is worth celebrating and rejoicing about in life?
  • What have been the moments of transformation in life?
  • Reflect on the Father’s reassurance.
  • Let the Lord fill you with a sense of being loved.

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