Thursday of the Thirty-FirstWeek in Ordinary Time
When children lose themselves
the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “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.” Lk15,2-10
Today’s liturgy of the word asks us to meditate on the parables of the lost sheep and lost drachma. Two different situations with a single theme: finding back what is dear to us and got lost. Being only a thing, the drachma can not come back with the other nine, unless the woman starts looking for it; the lost sheep is a defenseless animal and ,after getting lost, it would hardly be able to get back to the herd by itself, unless the shepherd went looking for it. Those are situations in which can be experienced by parents when a child gets lost in a street market (the lost drachma), or when he or she is a little older, loses himself or herself by getting along with wrong gangs and certainly would never go back alone. They are two events which many families have lived, and in both cases it is necessary to go and look for the lost children. If they get lost when they are older, waiting in prayer it the most effective help, as the father in the parable of the prodigal son does (Lk 15, 11-32). These are circumstances we know well, because it also happened to us. Luis and Edgar, at a certain point, left our family to rebuild their original one, together with their sisters arrived from Peru. May the Lord bless them and protect them! Marcos and Claudio, who had lived in Brazil for years in orphanages and as “niño de rua” (street children), felt the call of the wild when they came of age and left home, but then they repented and came back. It is the family life that unfolds over time, with its crosses and its resurrections.