Rejoice, the Lost One has been Found!

Sunday Gospel Reflection
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 15:1-32 | September 11, 2022

Rejoice, the Lost One has been Found!
Josie Gonzales

“This man welcomes outcasts and even eats with them!” (Luke 15:2)

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. When you find it, you are so happy…you call your friends and neighbors and say to them, ‘I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!’ ” (Luke 15:4-5)

“I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)

“I tell you, the angels of God rejoice over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)

“For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found. (Luke 15:24)

“We had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive, he was lost, but now he has been found.” (Luke 15:32)

Are we among the “lost”? Among the outcasts the Lord Jesus ate with—they, who sat with Him and listened to His wisdom?

On the other hand, are we among the insensitive Pharisees and teachers who stick to the letter of law, unmindful of Jesus’ teachings of love, mercy and compassion?

Should we rejoice because the “lost” among us have been found? Are we the Lord’s flock, the lost sheep, the lost son, the lost coin?

Rejoice, the mighty Lord has found us!

There are many stories in the Bible that tell us that “everything begins and ends with prayer in communion with God.” Even Christ Jesus prayed a lot: when He agonized in the garden of Gethsemane, when He was nailed to the cross during His crucifixion, on mountaintops where He prayed the most in solitude and peace. Perhaps, the “lost” among us have forgotten to pray—to pray upon waking up in the morning for another blessed day of joy, peace, love or before retiring to bed at night for a glorious day of sharing and caring. Perhaps, the “lost” in us have to be reminded to ask to receive…to delight in the Lord for He will give us the desires of our heart…to come to Him when we are tired and heavily burdened.

The key to finding our way back to the Almighty Father is to “pray and pray unceasingly”.

The Lord, in all His goodness, will always find us…believe, it is ours for the taking!

Ang ebanghelyo ngayong Araw ng Linggo ay mahalagang pagnilayan natin. Pinapaalalahanan tayo ng Panginoon na wala sa mundong ito ang ating kaligtasan—wala sa materyal na bagay, hindi nasusukat sa natapos sa kolehiyo, wala sa yaman, sa ari-arian, sa kapangyarian o posisyon sa pamahalaan. Lahat ito ay walang saysay kapag sumakabilang-buhay tayo.

Pagnilayan natin ito—sa materyal at kapangyarihan ba tayo o sa buhay na walang hanggan? Sa kasamaang palad, marami sa atin ang nakatuon sa materyal at kapangyarihan—naliligaw ng landas, the lost sheep, kung tawagin.

The Holy Spirit reminds us not to be attached to the perishable things of this world but instead, for us to aspire for that which is eternal. Let’s, therefore, pray to the Holy Spirit to grant us the grace of eternal happiness.

The physical world is but our temporary dwelling place. Inilagay tayo ng Panginoon sa mundong ito para makilala Siya, para mahalin Siya…to serve Him, glorify Him and worship Him so that, one day, we may be blessed with everlasting joy in His heavenly Kingdom.

Ang sarap isipin na ito ang buhay na walang hanggan sa piling ng Diyos. But, a lot of effort is required of us to pass through the narrow gate. Kaya ba natin? Sumusunod ba tayo sa mga utos ng Diyos? Mahal ba natin ang ating kapwa tulad ng pagmamahal natin sa sarili? Or are we the Pharisees blinded by pride and indifference, because they focus on the letter of the law—the rituals?

The Lord tells us to look for the “lost” in our family, among our neighbors, friends and enemies, among fellow Christians, in government and in our workplace, among leaders of powerful countries and their people, in the streets and in social media…the “lost” are everywhere.

What do we do to find the lost sheep, bring back the prodigal son, and get the lost coin?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to celebrate—celebrate life and rejoice, for the lost sheep has been found; hold a feast, for the repentant son has returned to his father; rejoice, for the lost coin has been seen.

The Gospel reading is a trilogy on redemption—ang pagtubos ng Panginoon sa atin bilang mga makasalanan. Suklian natin ang kabutihan ng Diyos. Let’s mentor the “lost ones” with affirmations about the good news of salvation. Let us speak of encouraging words and offer good deeds to those at their lowest point. Let’s be there and emulate the Lord’s holy character of love, mercy, and compassion,
because the Lord is a forgiving God.

His love is unconditional…no bounds.

A blessed Sunday to all!

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