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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him,but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’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.

“Or what woman having ten coins* and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

REFLECTION: " I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

A merciful God loves us!! Jesus Christ seeks out sinners--he dines with them, he goes to their homes, he reaches out to lost souls who are in need of God. Jesus shows an ongoing interest in our lives. He serves all , even the most hard hearted. And the supreme expression of his love for us was his sacrifice on Calvary.

Like the tax collectors and the outcasts of Jesus' time, our confidence in God should increase. "I ask of Thee, my true God! I ask Thee to love one who loves Thee not, to open to one who has not called upon Thee, to give health to one who prefers to be sick and who even goes about in search of sickness." (St Teresa of Avila, Exclamations of the Soul to God")

God will not abandon us though many times we have abandoned ourselves and Him. He never gives up on us. We pray for our priests, who are "in the person of Christ, the Head, in the Church". We pray so that they, too, will go out seeking sinners, not giving up on a single one of his sheep, his flock. We pray that the priests hear confessions for longer hours and to counsel us, to guide us in our faith and to preach the truth though many might not want to hear it, and to bring us closer to the Eucharistic Christ through Adoration. We pray that our priests will show us the Face of Christ.

And we in turn persistently pray . We pray our daily rosary, our Prayer for Priests, Divine Mercy at 3 pm. We offer sacrifices, prayers, and Masses for lost souls. We allow Jesus to enter our lives and we must seek out one another and share with others our love for God.

PRAYER: We pray that our souls will become a reflection of you, Dear Lord. We pray that you give us pardon, joy and consolation in this world. Overwhelm us in your affections so that we, too, will hear the choir of angels rejoicing as we enter heaven. AMEN

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