A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians
Brothers and sisters:
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.
If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.
But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Luke
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“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?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
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.’
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.
“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
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.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”
Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
The Word of God for Us
Dear people of God,
The Word of God in today’s Gospel speaks of the love of God and mercy for all mankind, especially for the sinners, the poor, and those in need of God’s mercy. God uses the parables of the shepherd in search of the lost sheep and the woman in search of a lost coin to show God’s mercy and compassion towards mankind. God did not come into the world to save the righteous, but the sinners and the sick. In reality, there is no one righteous in the sight of God in this world except for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
During Jesus Christ’s public life of preaching the Good News, He went around the world proclaiming the love of God to all mankind. The love of God has been engraved in the heart of every person born into this world and will impart it to everyone else.
The Word of God today reminds everyone: Never condemn, criticize, or judge your fellow man for that is not pleasing to God. Look up to the love and mercy of God that has been bestowed upon humanity demonstrated in the two parables. It is the parable of the shepherd who left the ninety-nine sheep in the wilderness in search of one lost sheep. After he found it, he was very happy. That shepherd is the very image of God. The image depicts a sinful sheep that is far from God’s loving embrace, God is patient and determined to find it. When He finds it and brings it back to Him, the courtiers of the Kingdom of Heaven, including the angels, and the saints are delighted and joyful, singing praises to God because the lost sheep are sinners who have returned to God.
The parable of the shepherd searching for the lost sheep shows the immense love and mercy of God. God is always patiently waiting for repentant sinners to return to Him. He does not abandon a single soul, He always creates opportunities for sinners to repent to return to Him. Thereby, He wanted to teach His disciples then and everyone today a lesson: To wait patiently for sinners to repent and return to God. Do not alienate or condemn them. Look at how God’s love and mercy toward everyone, people must now also have love, tolerance, and forgiveness toward sinners. Help sinners return to God, for when anyone helps a sinner to return to God, he is helping his soul to live pleasing to God. When you do so, the whole court of the Kingdom of Heaven will be delighted, rejoiced, and sing praise to God for saving sinful souls to return to Him.
Through the parable of the woman who lost a coin. A coin is nothing compared to the wealth of this world. But God’s love and mercy are shown in the image of a woman looking for a coin; thereby showing that: God loves every human soul He created. He does not want a soul to fall into the captivity of Satan. Because He knows that any soul that falls into Satan’s captivity will suffer great pain and will not experience happiness with Him.
Therefore, the Word of God today invites everyone to:
– Always be patient, perseverance, and faithful to the love and mercy of God
– Be loving and tolerant towards everyone, especially the souls of sinners.
– Help the souls of sinners to return to God, for God’s love and mercy have descended on mankind. Let us live and share that love and compassion toward one another.
Thanks Be to God. Amen.