Sunday, March 31, 2019
Jesus was regularly criticised by the scribes and Pharisees for his style of leadership and because he also kept company with an undesirable sort. In response our Lord often preached in parables…the lost sheep, the lost coin…providing illustrations designed to enlighten the naysayers about God’s grace, forgiveness, patience and perseverance.
Are we not lost when it comes to our need for confession? Jesus tells his listeners that “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents…”(Luke 15:7) But just a minute haven’t we all, in the words of Romans Chapter 3:23 “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”? Ah, we are those lost sheep…well, not me…I’m a good person…not me, my actions are justified…not me, my sins are nothing compared to yours, or his or theirs…not me, I try my best…not me, I’ve done my bit…not me, it’s not my fault…not me, it’s my mother’s fault, my employer’s fault, the church’s fault, society is to blame…Lost sheep, lost souls wandering away, looking for other answers, pastures, other flocks, other shepherds.
Fortunately, we have one persistent God who just won’t let us go. In fact, as St. Paul witnesses in the first letter to Timothy 2:15 , “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”; that is to find the lost, turn us around, to walk with us through the valleys, to make us aware of our sins and our sinfulness, the error of our ways, the lousy stuff we do to one another and to lead us into right relationships again.
For Further Reflection: From Father I Have Sinned by Eugene O’Reilly
Father I have sinned. Help me find my way.
Remember not my sins, just let me hear you say:
I forgive you, I love you, you are mine.
Take My hand, go in peace, sin no more, beloved one.