Reflection on the Gospel of Luke 15: 1-10: Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Sept 11, 2022

The Gospel of Luke 15:1-10

All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, I believe that you came into this world to redeem sinners. We have hope in you, and in your power to transform our souls, by your grace, from sinfulness to holiness. Lord, Our love you and offer you the longings of our hearts to put you truly first in our lives. We want to love you with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength. We pray in your Name. Amen.

Have you ever lost or misplaced something you were very attached to? How did you feel? I am sure you were upset and possibly angry with yourself. Then you find it! Wow! Euphoria and your whole day is suddenly filled with brightness. So, as we read this Gospel of Luke, we can now understand the excitement in heaven when the Shepherd recovers a lost sheep. The fact of re-finding something we had lost always fills us anew with joy. And this joy is greater than that we felt before losing it, when the thing was safely kept. But the parable of the lost sheep speaks more of God’s tenderness than of the way in which people usually behave. It expresses a profound truth. To not leave behind something of importance for love is characteristic of divine power, not of human possessiveness. God sets out in search of what is lost while still keeping what He had left in place, and He finds what had strayed without losing what He has under His protection. Jesus has a compassion that shows his love for all his sheep, and He taught His disciples that same compassionate.  His love for His people is overflowing. That is the ultimate essence of the parable of the Lost Sheep. He is the Good Shepherd after all. He never wanted any one of His sheep to get lost and if, for any reason one sheep gets lost, He will do everything to find it. If He finds it, imagine How happy He would be! Let us follow the example of the Good Shepherd. Looking for one lost sheep is worth our time and effort. There are many of them in our world today. The joy of finding them and bringing them back to God is beyond compare.                                                                                          The same is true with the Parable of Lost Coin. In today’s world, time is money, and nobody would spend the whole afternoon looking for a lost coin. Still, even if you do and successfully finds it, would you jump up and down for joy or be pleased you found it.  Yet the lost coin, like the lost sheep, has a profound meaning. It actually represents you and me. If you were to become lost, would you rejoice if you have been found? As sinners, we are the lost sheep and the lost coin in the sight of God. For our Creator, we are worth more than actual sheep and coins. So, He sent His only Son to look for us. If He finds us and we repent and go back to the fold, there will be a thunderous applause in heaven!

Let us Pray: Let us follow the example of the Good Shepherd. Looking for the one lost sheep to bring it back into the fold. To rejoice when it is found. This we pray in the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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