Thursday, 31st Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel passage narrates three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. Each of these parables explores the notion which is at the very heart of the spiritual life: God is the one who searches for us. The message is clear: In Jesus, we believe that God has come to us. In Jesus, we believe that God seeks us… looks after us… until he finds us. And he never gives up… he never gives up on anyone.
Each of us, in some way, at some time in our lives, becomes lost. ‘Lost’ in the sense of living a sinful life… or being caught up in our selfish ambitions… or getting intoxicated with fame and power… or embracing the distorted values of the world… or getting trapped in an illicit affair or relationship… or being eaten up by worries, fears, and anxieties… or being held captive by hatred and unforgiveness… or not having a clear direction and purpose in life. Each of these is an experience or situation of being lost.
God cares for us… he searches for us… he looks after us. He is distraught when we are lost – knowing that we risk experiencing unnecessary pain and agonizing emptiness. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is deeply aware of our suffering and he longs to bring us relief. How he loves to find the lost!
If you lose your key, your wallet, or your smartphone, you feel incomplete, helpless, isolated. It is as though you yourself were lost. The gospel suggests that God has a similar anguish when we have lost our way in life, and that he will spare no effort to bring us back.
Indeed, God is preoccupied with what is lost, and he is more than eager to bring back to himself what is lost. God uses every method possible to search for us and to convince us of our worth to him. He is doing everything to find us. But are we allowing ourselves to be found by God?
God’s response to our being lost is always one of mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. God always seeks the lost. The challenge of today’s gospel is to let go of being lost and choose to be found. Let us allow ourselves to be found by God.