I wrote a Scripture Reflection for this Sunday’s readings for the Catholics on Call website this week:
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14
1 Timothy 1:12-17
Luke 15:1-32 or 15:1-10
It doesn’t make sense.
I mean, sure, we get the “point” of the parables of the lost sheep, of the lost coin, of the prodigal son (included in the long form of this Sunday’s readings). God is merciful. Each one of us matters and is infinitely loved by God. God rejoices when we return from our erring, less-than-selfless ways. Yet, yet… if I can admit to myself, I don’t get it, in my core. Because God’s mercy is not like mine. (Thank God, literally).
I wouldn’t rejoice in the same way over one lost and returned sheep. I’d be glad I managed to not lose the other 99 sheep! And while I might be happy if I found a lost quarter or a stray $20 dollar bill in a pants pocket, I’d be more grateful that I had a savings account with more than a quarter in it, than at the fact that I just found a quarter to add to it. And while we’re being honest, I’ll admit that I can identify all too readily with the self-righteous older son, though I happen to be the youngest in my family. It’s seems unfair that the younger son, the recklessly wasteful one, is welcomed back so extravagantly. Even in the times in our life when we are the prodigal ones, the ones desperately seeking and hopefully accepting God’s mercy, it doesn’t feel “fair.” It is hard to accept God’s mercy. God’s generosity is scandalous.
Something else is scandalous. Click here to continue reading…