Message of the Week

Reflections from the September 11 Gospel

Luke 15:1-32
Today’s Gospel gives a powerhouse lineup of three parables that all teach a similar message. The theme can be summarized in the simple directive: rejoice don’t reject. When someone who isn’t part of the “fold” appears in church, this is cause for rejoicing! It should not be cause for gossip, sideways glances, or nervous whispers about what to do or say. Rather a genuine smile and word of welcome would be in order at the very least, and a heartfelt invitation to join the community would be totally appropriate. Too often we become complacent about our Christian company. We get used to seeing the same people every Sunday and forget about the “lost” men and women who are outside the bounds of our comfort zone. Jesus gives us the image of an active shepherd who goes “after the lost one until he finds it,” and a diligent widow who will “sweep the house, searching carefully” until she finds her coin. He tells us of a father who “ran to his son, embraced and kissed him,” in spite of the separation they had faced. We too are called to take initiative in seeking out those who are lost, and to rejoice heartily when they finally do come back home.

Questions of the Week

Luke 15:1-32:
Who among your family and friends
would you consider “lost” in their relationship with God?
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14:
When do you offer prayers of intercession?
1 Timothy 1:12-17:
What does Paul’s life story tell us about God?