St. Paul as Saul followed the Jewish Law. His knowledge and righteousness was also based on the law. He even persecuted the believers, thinking he was doing the right thing. After his experience with the Risen Christ, he claims that all he once possessed was garbage compared to the worth of knowing Christ Jesus.
In the Gospel Proclamation the Lord Jesus is surrounded by tax collectors and sinners. Many have gathered around him to listen to his preaching. Among the crowds were Pharisees and Scribes. They accused the Lord of receiving sinners and eating with them. He heard their murmuring and spoke to them in parables: the Parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin.
For various reasons we may wander away from the Lord. It could be the loss of a loved one, being let down by a person we trusted, unemployment, financial crisis, anger, hatred, fear, self pity so on and so forth. In such moments of darkness, if we are able to remember who our God is, it will lift us up swiftly. Our God is a loving, forgiving and powerful God, who will leave the ninety-nine to come looking for the lost one.
It is overwhelming to think that the Lord Jesus left the ninety-nine to look for me when I was lost. When he found me he carried me on his shoulders. Like St. Paul stated, there is no greater treasure than to be found by the grace and mercy of God, to be loved, forgiven and healed. The Lord Jesus says, “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”. These words encourage us to mend our relationship with God through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Let us look around with compassion to find and help people who have wandered away from the Lord. Take the Good News to the hopeless, helpless and the lost. Make them aware that our God is a loving and forgiving God; a God who grants second chances.
Prayer: Abba Father, thank you for your unconditional love, give me grace to live in a manner that is pleasing to you. Amen.
Source: On our Knees publication (November Edition)