Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reflection: Luke 15:1-10

Thursday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time Luke 15:1-10
Today Jesus is surrounded by sinners and tax collectors.  They had gathered around Jesus to listen to him preach.  There were many Pharisees and scribes also in the crowd.  After a time, they began to complain.  They said: “This man welcomes sinners.  Not only does Jesus welcome sinners, he also eats with them.”  Naturally, Jesus clearly heard their comments (as the Pharisees had intended).
Jesus then addressed a parable to them:  “If a shepherd has 100 sheep and one of the sheep wanders off and gets lost, would the shepherd not leave the 99 sheep to go and find the lost sheep?”  Jesus then continues:  “And when the shepherd finds the lost sheep, will he not put the lost sheep on his shoulders and lovingly carry it back home, and share this good news with his family and friends? 
Jesus changes course and uses another example: “What woman having ten coins and then losing one of the coins, would not light a lamp and search her home looking for the precious coin?  And when the woman finds the coin, will she not call her relatives and neighbors and say: Come and rejoice with me!  I have found the precious coin that I had lost!”  Jesus then says to his listeners: “In the same way, there will be great rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Ask yourself: How many times in your life have you wandered away from Jesus?  I assume all of us have done, at the very least, some minor wandering away from Jesus.  However, there also may have been times in our lives when we were estranged from Jesus.  This may have been caused by a tragedy in your life, perhaps the loss of a loved one, the loss of work, financial problems, or perhaps estrangement from a loved one.   Or perhaps over time you became disenchanted with Jesus.
Today I invite you to be mindful of the individuals you encounter today who might be a considered an outsider or a “lost sheep.”  The person may be a homeless man or woman.  Or perhaps it is an older neighbor who lives alone, someone who would appreciate some of your time and attention.  Or it may be a family member who lives on the fringe of the family system.  And also ask yourself: In what way/s might I be considered an outsider by the people in my life?   
Jesus loves and values every person on this planet (and perhaps other planets)!  Jesus does not look at an individual’s talents, intelligence, salary, or status.  Each and every individual is loved and cherished by Jesus. 
Jesus calls us to follow him, to live as he did.  Today will we consciously choose to follow in his footsteps?  If we decide to do so, we may give another person a loving and special gift! 

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