Reading 1 Phil 3:3-8a
Responsorial Psalm Ps 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Gospel Lk 15:1-10
The lesson that Christ teaches us in today’s Gospel reading is clearly a lesson of hope and confidence in the great mercy of God. The climax of God’s mercy was the Incarnation, the coming of his Son Jesus to live on earth, to teach us God’s mercy and love, to die on the cross in order to reopen heaven for us and to lead us there. He left us his church to teach us. He gave us the sacraments by which he still acts amongst us and reconciles us to the Father.
Think of the sinners Christ met during his lifetime: the robbers, the adulterers, the unjust tax collectors. Even among his chosen ones, the twelve apostles, there was Peter who denied him, and Judas the traitor who sold him for 50 pieces of silver. Yet Jesus never uttered a harsh word against any of these sinners. No sinner was ever lost and no sinner will ever be lost only because of his sin. Sinners are lost because they will not turn to their merciful Father to ask his forgiveness. God constantly sends out his invitation to sinners welcoming them home.
All of us are sinners to a greater or lesser degree. We, too, must tune in to his call to obtain greater repentance and more love. That call is present in the scriptures, in the sacraments, during prayer, in every Eucharistic celebration. The Lord Jesus tells us that there is joy in heaven because of the repentance of one sinner. Let us thank God for telling us that. With that knowledge, let us make every effort to live as his beloved sons and daughters.