‘Rejoice with me … I have found my sheep that was lost!’
The readings for this Sunday celebrate the boundless mercy God offers to us, regardless of our sins, and the joy that comes from repentance. In the first reading, the fragile faith of the Israelites has faltered, and they worship the calf they have created out of molten metal. Through Moses’ prayer, God relents from destroying them, despite their lack of faith.
The Psalmist, recognizing the depth of his sinfulness, trusts in God’s mercy and pleads with God to strengthen the spirit within, offering a ‘humbled, contrite heart. The second reading recalls the young Saul’s many sins against the faith before his conversion. When he repented for his sins, Saul was shown great mercy and was filled with the grace and love of Christ. It is a reminder that Jesus came into the world to save all sinners.
In the Gospel, we hear Jesus’s powerful teaching about seeking whatever is lost and the joy that comes when found again. Here he speaks of a lost sheep and a lost coin, but the heart of his message is the joy of God’s loving mercy, which is poured upon us when we repent of our sins.
This week, let us keep in mind all those who are lost and searching for something – perhaps for a loved one who has gone astray, for forgiveness, for love or peace, or for meaning in life itself. We ask the Lord to be with all of us in our search and bring us the joy of finding what we seek.
Joy and peace.