The readings on the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time speak of the mercy of God in the reconciliation between Him and His people. In the first reading Moses was up on Mount Sinai receiving the Law and instructions for the people from the Lord God. But tired of waiting at the foot of the mount the people insisted on a god be provided for them. Aaron had them remove their gold and he molded a golden calf. At this the people celebrated in a drunken party. The Lord was ready to destroy them however through the intercession of Moses God had mercy on them and they were spared.
This leads into the Gospel where Jesus tells 3 parables of mercy: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son (prodigal). In the previous verses to the first reading in Exodus the people celebrated at the molding of the golden calf. And after the lost were found in the 3 parables of the Gospel a great celebration commenced. This was opposite from the first reading as these were holy celebrations of the Lord. And in all three parables Jesus shows us the mercy of God which is undeserved pardon.
In the 2nd reading St. Paul gives his personal testimony as he shares how grateful he is that he, the worst of sinners, is shown mercy as he proclaims, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.”
As disciples of Christ, if we too admit that we are sinners, God will continue to show us mercy and we will be spared like the Israelites at Mount Sinai and St. Paul. In turn we must bring others to the knowledge of this mercy by directing them to Jesus and His Church by our word and deed.
Then we can truly celebrate!