Mass Readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
- First Reading – Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14: “Why, O Lord, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand?”
- Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 51 “I will rise and go to my father.”
- Second Reading – 1 Timothy 1:12-17: “This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
- Gospel – Luke 15:1-32: “My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.”
Themes for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
The readings for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C focus on God’s mercy and love for us. In the first reading God is faithful to his unfaithful people. The psalm is a plea for mercy. In the second reading Paul speaks of God’s mercy for him, for he once persecuted Christians. In the gospel Jesus tells the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son (or the Prodigal Son or the Forgiving Father).
- God’s mercy
- Seeing myself as treasured
- The things and people we treasure
- Forgiveness and reconciliation
Resources for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
This Tale of Two Sons lesson plan on the parable of the prodigal son will help youth understand that followers of Jesus cannot just view freedom and duty from the world’s point of view. The generous father shows us how to live these in the context of love.
This washed away prayer service makes a nice accompaniment to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and return to the Lord. It incorporates Psalm 51, which is the responsorial psalm for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C.
What Do I Treasure? Activity and Reflection Questions
Jesus often challenged people about their values. The Pearl of Great Price, the Buried Treasure, the Lost Coin are all parables about what is important to us and to our Heavenly Father. He also observed the poor widow, who gave all she had to the temple treasury. This exercise helps us consider what is valuable to us.
Treasure Hunt is a really easy activity to do either indoors or outdoors. And your older VBS or youth ministry students will enjoy it as much as the younger ones.
Buried Treasure is a fun game for all ages. It works well for Vacation Bible School or youth ministry. Everyone enjoys playing in a sandbox! For older players, use smaller treasures to make them more difficult to find.
Homilies and Reflections for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
A homily from Bishop Robert Barron. “Friends, in this Sunday’s Gospel, we encounter the infinite, extravagant, radical love of the Creator for his creation. Jesus paints for us, in three parables, a portrait of God: he is, if I can borrow that lovely phrase from Catherine of Siena, ‘pazzo d’amore’—crazy in love with us, including the lost sheep and the prodigal sons.”
From Scott Hahn. “The episode in today’s First Reading has been called ‘Israel’s original sin.’ Freed from bondage, born as a people of God in the covenant at Sinai, Israel turned aside from His ways and fell to worshiping a golden calf. Moses implores God’s mercy, just as Jesus will later intercede for the whole human race. Just as He still pleads for sinners at God’s right hand and through the ministry of the Church.” Continue reading.
God wants our brokenness. He wants everything that makes us imperfect in the eyes of the world. In this video, Fr. Mike Schmitz offers a relieving truth about God’s paradoxical love for us, how he love us—not in spite of our weaknesses—but because of them. Find out why.
Another homily from Bishop Robert Barron. “Our Gospel for today gives us three classic parables, each one exploring the notion that is at the very heart of the spiritual life—namely, that God is the one who searches for us. Why would God fret over one little soul? Why would he bother? Well, it’s his nature. It’s what he does. More to it, as we see in the coin, the sheep, and the son, recovering a lost soul is what he rejoices in doing.”
More Thoughts for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
Searching for That Sheep
100 sheep would have seemed like a very large flock for the ordinary people Jesus spoke this parable to. So it probably would have been the combined flock of several families, and each family would have provided shepherds to watch it. So when one of the sheep when missing, they would have told the youngest, least senior shepherd that he had to go find the stray.
For some of the people listening to Jesus, this would be a familiar situation. They can remember when they were the least important shepherds who were sent after wanderers. They can imaging walking through the scratchy brush and scraping their legs as they climbed the rocky hills, all while the other shepherds just sat watching the other sheep.
Then when they found that sheep, they had to lift it up, put it on their shoulders, and carry it back. They were already tired from having to look for it. They might have been pretty frustrated and angry with that wayward sheep.
But the parable has a surprise ending. The shepherd is overjoyed at finding the lost sheep. Despite all of the work and effort he has put into finding it, he is happy for this lost lamb. He is so happy he calls the local people and throws a celebration for the sheep!
This is how Jesus sees us. Despite all of the suffering and work, he is overjoyed when we are restored to him.
Reflection Questions for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
- Do I really believe in God’s mercy? How does that change my life?
- Do I realize I am treasured?
- What am I searching for in my life?
Quotes and Social Media Graphics for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.