Reflection for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sept. 11, 2022

By Phyllis Chandler, Notre Dame Associate

“A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.”  Ps. 51:19

This weekend’s readings are focused on a central theme: we were created by a loving God who is ready and willing to forgive our failings, if we seek His forgiveness.

The first reading from the book of Exodus recalls God telling Moses that His wrath will “blaze up against the people to consume them” after they made and worshipped a molten calf.  After Moses pleads with Him, God relents and does not carry out His punishment.

In the second reading, St. Paul recounts his own sin as “a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant” who repented and was “mercifully treated” by God.

The gospel of Luke describes several examples, including the story of the prodigal son, where there is much rejoicing after loss, again focusing on God’s willingness to forgive once we recognize the wrong we have done.

In our world today, we don’t need to look far to see the need for repentance.  Our country seems to be divided into “we” and “they” with a lot of finger-pointing and judgment regardless of which side we align ourselves with.  What has happened to tolerance and understanding, let alone forgiveness?  I am reminded of another scripture passage where Jesus intervenes with a woman about to be stoned and says, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”

In this coming week, let us each examine our own actions and seek forgiveness if we have contributed to the divisiveness among us, then do something to bring about healing and greater understanding in our nation and world.