9/11/2022 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Luke 15:1-10
1 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
2 but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
4 “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?
5 And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
6 and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
7 I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
8 “Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?
9 And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
10 In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
9/11/2022 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Luke 15:1-10
Chapter 15 of the gospel of Saint Luke opens with tax collectors and sinners drawing near to Jesus. Very well, Jesus must have a very pleasing personality that even the “undesirables” of society are attracted to Him. Yet, it is obvious that the “pleasing personality” is nothing but genuine compassion characterized by acceptance, forgiveness and power of restoration. We must recall that in the previous chapter, Jesus tells the parable of the Great Wedding Banquet where the poor and the marginalized were the ones who heeded the invitation.
The tax collectors and sinners were and are still the lost sheep and the lost coins. They were and are still the raison d’être or the the most important reason or purpose why Jesus came down from Heaven. They were drawn to Jesus because they felt His sincerity to be one with them and for them. In fact, He cured many of them, fed them and taught them. When everybody shunned them, Jesus was there for them.
The Pharisees and the other religious leaders were also sinners but their self-righteousness blinded them into thinking that they were holy and thus separated from the rest of society. So they opposed and rejected Jesus and in reality, they were instrumental in His suffering and death.
We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). It is our choice to be drawn to Jesus or to be the modern Pharisees who reject the offer of Jesus for us to be saved. Moreover, we are also being called to imitate Jesus who would go all out to seek the lost and bring them to the fold.