In our Gospel account today, Luke records that Jesus is critiqued for eating with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus responds to the criticism of the Pharisees and the scribes by sharing three parables, two of which we read today, and unfortunately, the third, the Prodigal Son, which would have been read tomorrow is lost in the liturgical shuffle for tomorrow’s feast day reading will be from the Gospel of John.
The two parables we are given today display the love of God the Father for his children. Though we may not find being compared to a sheep or a coin endearing, the imagery of the shepherd going to find the one lost sheep and the woman searching all over her house for the one lost coin is a message well worth meditating on.
Someone hearing this parable might say, “Why bother looking for the one sheep when you have ninety-nine other sheep or why bother looking for one insignificant coin, when you have nine other ones?” But if we ponder this parable for a bit we may recall or feel right now that we may be lost or insignificant, and what Jesus is telling us is that we matter, that God loves us more than we can ever imagine, and he is constantly seeking us out. God the creator of the vast expanse of the cosmos cares for each and everyone of us, he cares for you, as if you were the only person in the world.
We do not need to look for God so much as we need to just stop, be still and notice he is already waiting, looking for us. If we feel a bit worn or tired, misunderstood, lost, lonely or underappreciated, know that we are not alone. God cares, he is present, yes, even in the midst of any conflicts, trials or tribulations we may be going through today. God is the shepherd that watches over us and seeks us out even when we walk away from him.
Make some time to rest in the arms of Jesus this day, breath slowly, be thankful, rest, cry, or vent. In this loving embrace, may we receive the gift of his love so that we may go and share it with someone today who also needs to know they matter, that they have dignity, and that they are loved.