A: Our First Reading (Ex 32:7-11, 13-14) shows a very “angry” God, who “feels” betrayed by the very people he saved (remember, humans speak of the Divine in “human” terms) . Punishment for disobedience to the Torah (Law) regarding idolatry was very severe (see Deuteronomy 13). Nevertheless, Moses pleads on behalf of the people. His intercession says, in essence,, “Lord, these are YOUR children; YOU saved them. So why kill them now when you promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that their descendants would inherit the land?” The appeal is to God’s faithfulness to his own word. God heard this earnest appeal, and “relented.”
The lesson is repeated in the Gospel (Luke 15:1-10). God doesn’t want the death of anyone, but seeks out the lost and the stray, in His desire to keep the flock united. The picture of a rejoicing host of angels in heaven, celebrating over the return of one lost soul to the flock of Jesus, is absolutely wonderful. So we see in these readings two important things: (a) That commitment prayers offered humbly are heard by God, and are received favourably by Him; and (b) That God desires that everyone be saved, and follows us until we accept or reject his saving action.
Who do YOU consider the world’s worst “type” of sinner? An abortionist? A terrorist? A child molester? A pornographer? Now the tough question: do YOU pray for the salvation of those “sinners”? After all, isn’t it God’s will that everyone be saved – including those who seem to have strayed the farthest from the flock? Are you a finger-pointer, or are you a merciful intercessor?
Finally, our conversion comes from witnessing to God’s mercy towards everyone. We can learn from Abraham, Moses and Jesus, who acted on behalf of others, and imitate their humble intercession- after all saved souls depend on you!