A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 15:1-10
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus addressed this parable to them. "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: 'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.'
Packing our suitcases for the trip home after a long weekend in Fort Worth, I realized that my leather bound Magnificat book was missing. And I knew exactly where I lost it. My heart sank because there was a good chance that it was not going to be found. However, I said my usual "go to prayers" for lost items. Having left many rosaries at church, I had years of experience of not finding lost items. However, I still prayed that my Magnificat would be found.
Returning to the same church for Monday mass, I approached a deacon and asked if they had a Lost and Found. Immediately he took me to it. There was a myriad of coats, books, toys, rosaries but no missalette. He suggested I go into the Church and see if it was still in the pew.
When I entered the Church, there was a lady working in the back. I did not think she noticed me. At my pew, there was nothing there. That's it!!
I went back to the chapel and started preparing for Mass.
All of a sudden, the lady from the back of the Church approached me and asked, " Are you looking for a brown leather bound Magnificat book?" She had seen it in the sanctuary and brought me to it.
My prayer book was lost but someone who God placed in my life found it for me.
When reading today's gospel, I was reminded of my lost book. As Jesus searched for sinners, the reality that He loves us enough to pursue and find us became tangible. I could only find my book if I knew where I had left it. And I can only look for the book because I knew I had lost it.
God knows I am lost and only He can find me when I can't find my bearings. Sometimes He will yank me out of the mess I find myself in but many times He sends people. It is a personal Lord who tracks us down and who carries us home. But it is the priest, persona in Christ, who God has given to us to primarily find and lead us to salvation.
Next time we are tempted to grumble about the human traits and personalities of the priest, let us view him as one whom God has chosen to bring us back home to Him.
PAPA First Annual Conference December 6-8th, 2019. Make arrangement to go!!