Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’
Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Jesus says God seeks us out when we are lost. God also manifests himself when we are not necessarily lost, but just kind of clueless. So, how does this actually happen? Let’s look at a few ways.
Food. Food you can eat when you are hungry. Like, pancakes, or hot bowls of ramen, or rib eye steaks. A sign of God’s presence.
Derek Jeter’s last at bat at Yankee Stadium. I mean, come on. Are you kidding me? Come on!!! Another sign.
Mass times. Not only can you go to Sunday mass at, say, 9:30, or 11am, you can also go at 5pm on Saturday night. That’s right. You can go to Sunday mass on Saturday. This makes no sense. But it’s true. All things are possible. God seeking us out.
The fervent enthusiasm of your 7th graders as you introduce to them the American musical phenomenon known as Pearl Jam (“Given to Fly,” in particular.)
And much, much more.
In a reverse of the Ignatian creed, God seeks us in all things. He never gives up, and he will use anything he can to reach us.
—Joe Hoover, S.J. is a Jesuit brother writing and acting in New York. He serves as poetry editor of America magazine and also works at St. Ignatius Grammar School.
Lord, nothing can separate us from your love. Nothing! We cannot let regret, failure to love, feelings of guilt or inadequacies distant us from you. And though we may drift away from you, you will seek us with an unfailing love.
So, Lord, we are humbled that you never give up on us. This realization restores our conviction that we are your beloved and that we have a divine destiny to manifest your love in the various circumstances of our day.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!