Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 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.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Today’s gospel reading reminds us that we do have quite an important daily impact on one another. The time we spend with an upset family member, a passing greeting at work, an email or Tweet we send to a friend celebrating a birthday, the prayer we whisper before an important meeting—these may not seem like much. Yet this daily involvement with one other strengthens our hope, engages our love, marks our faith-filled involvement in each another’s lives.
Think of how boring life would become if we had to do everything all alone, if we had no one to share the burdens and adventures of our ordinary routine. Precisely in the midst the highs and lows of daily living we discover the opportunity to put in a good word, to offer some needed suggestion or correction, to celebrate both failure and success, to grow together in faith. In the words of today’s psalm response, we can say together: “Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Lord, nothing can separate us from your love. Nothing! We cannot let regret, failure to love, feelings of guilt or inadequacies distant us from you. And though we may drift away from you, you will seek us with an unfailing love. So, Lord, we are humbled that you never give up on us. This realization restores our conviction that we are your beloved and that we have a divine destiny to manifest your love in the various circumstances of our day.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!