How interesting it is that when Jesus wants to tell us about God’s concern for us, he uses an experience that we have all had: desperately searching for something valuable which is lost. If you are a parent and have ever lost your child in a crowd, you know what it is to be frantic. You would instinctively risk whatever it takes to find your child. You would expend whatever effort is necessary.
In the parables of the lost sheep and coins, Jesus tells us that there is a similarity in the way God feels toward us. God has a willingness to go to any length to find us when we lose our way to sin and to rejoice when we repent and return to him.
Pressing the analogy even more, moms and dads know that their kids do not always get it right the first time-and for some, not even the second or third time- but you are so glad when they finally make some wise and healthy choices. How easy it is to forgive what went before when we get back what you feared was lost. Using the parable of the Forgiving Father, Jesus says that it is the same way with God toward us.
When we look at the parables Saint Luke has given us today, it may be a rather starting picture of God that emerges. What we get is a glimpse of God at the feeling level. When we hear these parables we have to ask ourselves why do we get fixated on the image of God as some kind of just judge, dispassionately giving each person his or her exact due? What drives us to recall only those passengers of Scripture which speak about God’s anger? Why have we been so drawn to apocalyptic – end time – passages which speak about the destruction a sinful world? All those images, so popular today in literature and with television or radio religion, are far distant from the loving God acting like a mother or a father, as revealed by Jesus.
As we let these parables of Jesus challenge us with a message about the Father, our thoughts turn to ourselves. It should dawn on each of us that I am the one that God frantically searches for. I am the one for whom God would spare no effort. In the words of Saint Paul, so great is God’s attachment to us that he does not spare anything, even to the point of taking on human flesh, of becoming one with us in order to search out what was lost, to welcome home what had wandered away.
That the Almighty God who presides over the universe would care passionately about me, as a mother or father caring about a child : that is at the heart of our faith when we say that I am a son or a daughter, a child of God. I ask myself, how do I respond to something like that, so intense, so persistent? I ask, how do you respond to such a love pursuing you in your life?
God bless you all!
Your brother in Christ