Thursday of the 31st Week of the Year

Luke 15:1-10

The Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin

Henri Nouwen told a parable about an old man who used to meditate each day near the Ganges River in India. One morning he saw a scorpion floating on the water. When the scorpion drifted near the old man he reached to rescue it but was stung by it.  A bit later he tried again and was stung again, the bite swelling his hand painfully and giving him much pain.  Another man passing by saw what was happening and yelled at the old man, “Hey, stupid old man, what’s wrong with you?  Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature.  Don’t you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?”

The old man calmly replied, “My friend, just because it is in the scorpion’s nature to sting, does not change my nature to save.”

It is God’s nature to save because it is God’s nature to love. God seeks the lost, heals the wounded, forgives the offender and gives hope to those who are in despair. It is what God does.

In today’s gospel, Jesus presents to us two parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. These two parables depict a seeker in search of something or someone lost.Shepherds normally counted their sheep at the end of the day to make sure all were accounted for.  The housewife who lost a coin faced also something of an economic disaster, since the value of the coin would be equivalent to her husband’s daily wage. In this way, Jesus is teaching that God does not rejoice in the loss of anyone but desires that all be saved and restored to fellowship with Him. And the whole community of heaven rejoices when one sinner is found and restored to fellowship with God.

The owner mentions in these two parables represents God. The lost sheep and the lost coin represent us. The initiative of searching the lost sheep and the lost coin rests entirely with the owner. It is because it is quite impossible for a sheep or a coin to do anything in order to search and find itself. And so therefore, Christianity is not about man seeking God, but rather God seeking man. This makes Christianity unique from other religions in the world. In other religions, it is the people who look for God and offer sacrifices to appease their gods but in Christianity it is our God who looks for His lost people. He always searches us when we are lost. Salvation as well as forgiveness is the initiative of God and not of us. For the reason that, like the small coin and the lost sheep, you and I do have a certain intrinsic worth. He has infused into us an added value. By seeking us with unimaginable desire, he has given human beings a dignity beyond calculation. He is always ready to forgive us who are sorry, to save us and not to inflict revenge on us for the sins we have committed. He is always ready to offer His love for us.

365 Days With the Lord 2007, further says that God is not offended by us. The only thing that can offend Him is when we harm ourselves and others. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches: “We offend God only inasmuch as we act against our own good,” (Contra Gentes, bk. III ch. 122). He never turns His back on us. It is we who turn our back on Him when we sin. His love for us never change, He is always remain our Father and Friend.

Seekers of the lost are much needed today.  Do we persistently pray and seek after those we know who have lost their way to God?

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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1 Response to Thursday of the 31st Week of the Year

  1. Fr. Alex B. Cymerman, OFM Conv. says:

    Dear Father Homilist: Thank you for your simple but very insightful homilies. I’ve been a Franciscan priest for 52 years – and my Provincial asked that I reside as a “senior friar” at our Novitiate. I don’t get involved in staff matters but I am invited to celebrate the Community Mass. I often go on line to seek out “Catholic Weekday Homilies” and yours is the best of the offerings. Thank you and God bless you. Fr. Alex B. Cymerman, OFM Conv, Arroyo Grande, CA

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