The message of God’s forgiveness is one that we are familiar with, but which the Lord still wishes to emphasise. Our human approach to forgiveness is so often flawed – we hold grudges, erect barriers, make demands and establish conditions. Jesus wants to remind his listeners – and us – that God’s forgiveness is overflowing and bountiful. Saint Paul was well aware of this: he had persecuted the Church, calling himself “the greatest of sinners”; and yet, thanks to the “inexhaustible patience” of God, he can count himself a believer. We must be open to the gift of forgiveness for ourselves, and also (as the Parable of the Elder Brother shows) open to that forgiveness offered to other whom we would condemn.
Exodus 32: 7 – 11, 13 – 14
Response: Psalm 50.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness,
in your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.
A pure heart create for me, O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your holy spirit.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.
My sacrifice is a contrite spirit;
a humble, contrite heart you will not spurn.
(Sung Antiphon: I will leave this place and go to my father.)
1 Timothy 1: 12 – 17
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
God in Christ was reconciling the world to himself,
and he has entrusted to us the news that they are reconciled. Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Luke 15: 1 – 32
Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, have mercy.