Have you ever felt completely lost? Have you ever felt unknowable, ruined or destroyed, taken away, unnoticed, unappreciated, or ununderstood? That is the definition of “lost” as defined by Merriam-Webster. Have you ever been in a crowd but felt so alone? Being in your most familiar places but unsure of what to do? This is most likely what the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son from Luke (15:1-32) experienced. This is probably a reality that no one wants to face. No one can escape this reality, whether poor or rich, learned or unlearned, religious or not.
The parallel stories of the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son in today’s gospel describe God’s unwavering fidelity and mercy to those who have been “lost.” Even though society disagrees with him, Jesus accepts them. He would act without hesitation because he understands that the lost are also God’s children. They are worth searching for and deserve to be found.
When people withdraw, want space, and want to be alone, there is plenty of time to judge them. There are numerous reasons to abandon or betray someone simply because they are different. Should they also be considered lost and in need of rescue? There are criticisms that appear to destroy relationships, encounters, and communion. Others are labeled as incompetent and unfit. Aren’t we called to be good shepherds, searching women, and loving fathers.
Jesus probably understands what it’s like to be lost and would never want any of us to go through it. He is aware of and sees beyond what others can see, therefore he makes every effort to find the sheep, discover the coin, and celebrate and restore the lost son’s dignity. Blessed Francisco Palau believed the same thing, that each person is created in love and therefore deserves to be loved.
Lord, help us to have your compassion so that people who have been lost won’t ever feel that way again.
Queen of Carmel Community