LITURGY

Twenty-fourth Sunday Year C

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WORD OF GOD
So the Lord relented and did not bring on his people
the disaster he had threatened.
(Exodus 32: 14)

WORD FOR TODAY
Because God is just he has every right to punish our wrongdoing. If this were to happen then none of us could ever claim exemption for we are all sinners. Yet God’s constant way of dealing with us is to show mercy, to get us to recognise our faults and to turn from them. If we do this, then rather than disaster there is feasting.

WORDS FOR WORSHIP
Lord Jesus, you take our sins upon yourself so that we might be blameless in God’s sight:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ Jesus, you invite us to recognise our faults and to turn from our sin:
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you call us back home to our Father to join in the feast of forgiveness:
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, strengthen us in all goodness and lead us home to everlasting life.
Amen.

FAITH IN FOCUS: FIVE STEPS BACK HOME
What was it about the prodigal son that took him back home when everything had gone wrong? He took five steps to get back to the family atmosphere of his father’s house.
First, he recognised the senselessness of his sinful condition. This can be hard. We fool ourselves that our sin is really quite harmless or maybe even just a bit of fun. Yet eventually the realisation comes upon us that what we are doing is not making us fuller people but simply stunting our development. We are brought short and forced to face the truth that the grass is in fact greener where we used to be.
Repentance is the second step. The awakening brought about by the hopelessness of our situation leads us to accept that we’ve been going in the wrong direction long enough and it’s time to turn around and go back. It forces us to admit that we alone are responsible for the mess we are in; sin is our choice and nobody forces us. And what the prodigal son really wanted was not just some food but the restoration of his relationship with his father.
Repentance must always be accompanied by honesty. There’s no point in making excuses for what we have done. The son could have blamed the home situation, his father or his brother, the farmer who gave him a job with the pigs, etc. But the less we are found making excuses the more likely we are to be serious about changing our way of life.
When he repented the son displayed humility. He simply acknowledged that he had sinned, was sorry and did not deserve to be called a son any more. He knew he had disgraced his family and friends, accepted it and was determined to do something about it. He set no conditions to his confession.
Then he made his resolution to go back home. He didn’t ask for time to consider things, procrastinate and put things off. He did something about it, left his sorry situation and determined to start things afresh.
Five steps. But the only ones that would take him back to the feast. And us?

TO CONTACT US: OUR LADY OF LOURDES FLEMING FIELD SHOTTON  COLLIERY DURHAM DH6 2JQ         

 


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