St. Rita Roman Catholic Church
1008 Maple Dr.
Webster, NY 14580
585-671-1100
Weekend Masses: Saturday- 5:00pm
Sunday- 7:30am; 9:00am (children's liturgy); 10:30am
Daily Mass is at 8:15am on Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday, and Friday (no Mass on Wednesday)
Reconciliation: Saturday from 3:30-4:30pm
Office Hours: M-Th 9am to 4:30pm; Fri 9-12:00pm
An Introduction to the Scripture Readings for
the Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the hope that you will enter more fully into the Mass
 
“Your Brother Was Dead And Has Come To Life Again”

The readings for this Sunday demonstrate the unfathomable love our Father has for us and also teaches us about the love and forgiveness we should have for each other.

Our first reading 
(Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14) is a rather folksy tale of the Father's willingness to forgive the transgressions of his people. Moses had the audacity to present his case to God directly. God listened and responded with compassion. Would not he do the same for us?

The LORD said to Moses, "Go down at once to your people, whom you brought out of the  land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, 'This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!' "I see how stiff-necked this people is, " continued the LORD to Moses. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation."  But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, "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?  . . . . So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Our Epistle reading from the First Letter to Timothy
(1 Tim 1:12-17) is yet another example of God's mercy and forgiveness, this time to Paul who was once a persecutor of Christians. It was this persecutor that God chose to deliver the Gospel to the Gentile world.

Beloved: I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry. I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant, but I have been mercifully treated because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief. Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever.  Amen.

Our Gospel reading 
(Luke 15:1-32) is a collection of three parables, each demonstrating the lengths to which the Father will seek out and rejoice over even one lost sheep. Once the lost one is found, the great joy must be shared. First, (omitted here because of space) Jesus tells the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Lastly, is the well known parable of the Prodigal Son. The unforgiving “good” son is as much the point of the story as the Father’s unconditional love and forgiveness.

Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. 

Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. . . . He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns, who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘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.’”


So, after these three readings, there should be no doubt — God loves us immeasurably and looks for any and every opportunity to draw us back to him, forgive us and rejoice at our repentance. How do we know this? The bible tells us so.