In this week’s reading, Jesus tells three parables about losing, finding, and rejoicing. In the first story, a shepherd leaves behind 99 sheep to search for one lost sheep. In the same way, God rejoices more over one sinner who repents—like the outcasts who have gathered to hear Jesus speak and follow his ministry. In the second story, a poor woman makes the same point by never stopping searching until she finds her lost coin.

Finally we come to what is probably the most memorable parable in the Gospels, the story we know as The Prodigal Son. A loving father is at the center of this parable. Even though his son runs off with his father’s inheritance and squanders the money, the father waits for him, hoping for his return.

When we are lost, God doesn’t wait for our return. He actively seeks us out. And when the lost are found, how could we not celebrate and rejoice?

Like the woman looking for her lost coin, and the father looking for his son, we are committed to saving the lives of children lost in poverty. Children like Raul, born with cerebral palsy, in a resource-poor community in Peru, are considered lost by those around them. When we met Raul, he was curled into a ball. He couldn’t move and for the majority of his days he was left alone. With our help, and Raul’s commitment and persistence, he is now sitting up, moving his hands and saying a few words. Now we are all hopeful that one day he will learn to walk and reach his God-given potential. Now he is no longer lost. 

Instead of being overwhelmed by the sheer number of women and children who are lost in the dark cycle of poverty and disease, we learn from the story of the prodigal son and other parables that it is our sacred duty to never give up from helping even just one child. Someone like Raul inspires us to work harder and judge one another less, as we realize that once we are found, sinners and non-sinners alike are welcomed back to our Father’s house with open arms.

Today, pray with us for God’s ability to find those we might consider lost and rejoice in His successes. ​

Empower a Child with Disabilities.

Today’s reflection is inspired by and adapted from the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.