LISTEN: Reflection for the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time — Year C

In the longer version of today’s Gospel we are presented with three parables of increasing outrageousness, presenting situations from the risky but reasonable (the lost sheep) to the delightfully ironic (the lost coin) to what amounts to the scandalous (the ‘prodigal son’). If we look at the characters in the stories we see differing ways of approaching the recovery of what is lost.

For the shepherd, the decision to risk the 99 sheep to find the one that is lost is based on a willingness to chance losing more during his search. It make sense if one notes that he is financially responsible for the lost sheep. The chance is based on a kind of calculation – that he can find the sheep before wolves or other predators ‘find’ the 99. For the woman, the ‘risk’ of losing more coins is low. In the case of the prodigal son this extravagance moves ‘off the charts’.

I don’t think I am alone in admitting that the outrageous generosity of the father seems to fly in the face of our idea of justice.

Join Fr Anthony Egan SJ as he reflects on the readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time — Year C

Read the texts in your Bible or hover your mouse over the references below to see the texts.
Exodus 32:7-11,13-14; Psalm51; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Luke 15:1-32

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Fr Anthony Egan SJ
B.A. (Hons), M.A. (UCT), B.A. (Hons) (London), M.Div., S.T.L. (Weston), Ph.D. (Wits)

Fr Anthony Egan SJ has taught, full-time or part-time, at St Augustine College of South Africa, St John Vianney Seminary, Fordham University (on sabbatical) and the University of the Witwatersrand, where he currently teaches at the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics. The author/co-author of a number of books, book chapters, academic and popular articles, he is a correspondent for America magazine, a contributor to Worldwide and writes for Spotlight. He is also a commentator on local and international radio and television. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Helen Suzman Foundation. Extramural interests include Science Fiction, Theatre, Art and creative writing, including poetry.

a.egan@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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