Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

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Lectionary: 132
Read the Gospel: Luke 15:1-32

Gospel Summary

In an attempt to show the people that God will forgive and accept sinners into the Kingdom, Jesus told three parables about being lost and then found. The first parable was about a shepherd who had one hundred sheep but lost one. The shepherd searched until he found the lost lamb. There was much celebration on the part of the shepherd and his neighbors because something lost was found. The second parable concerned a widow who searched her house until she found a lost piece of silver. Finally, Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son who squandered his share of his inheritance and went home to beg his father to let him be a worker. Instead the father was so thrilled to see this son who had been lost to him that he threw a big party. All three of these parables illustrate the joy that will be in heaven when one lost sinner is found.

Reflection for Families

If you have ever lost a child either at a shopping mall, amusement park, or outside playing, you know the anguish of losing something beyond measure. The joy you experienced when you found each other is often something you can’t even put into words. Part of you wants to be angry because the child caused you so much grief, but mostly you are just so happy to see the child, you can hardly speak. If we’ve had experiences like this, then we have an indication about how God feels when we are truly sorry for our sins and want to be part of God’s family.
Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

What is an irreplaceable or valuable item that belongs to your family? Perhaps you have an item that belonged to someone who has died, or something that has been passed down through the generations. Try to trace the item’s history through your family and then make a connection to it and today’s Gospel. What would happen if you lost the item, or it turned up missing? How hard would you look for it? How would you feel when you found it? Finally, consider how your experience might help illustrate the joy Jesus described in this Gospel when one sinner repents.

Discussion Starters

  1. I lost something really important one time. I remember feeling . . .
  2. I think the people who are lost today are . . . One thing that I could do to help them be found is . . .
  3. The one person I need to forgive is . . .