Prayer: O Jesus, show me how precious I am to you.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)
These twin parables are closely connected to the Prodigal Son parable. A hundred sheep was a medium sized flock. The shepherd must have been poor, unable to pay a helper. Luke’s gospel centers on God’s joy on the day of Judgment.
The parable of the lost coin has the same focus. The ten coins are the woman’s dowry, which she always carried in her headdress. She rejoices in the finding because each coin is so precious to her.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
Tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. At this, the Pharisees and scribes murmured, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So, Jesus told this parable. If a man with a hundred sheep loses one, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and search for the lost until he finds it? When he does find it, he places it on his shoulder rejoicing.
On coming home, he gathers his friends and neighbors and says to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.” I will tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need repentance.
Does not a woman having ten coins and losing one coin, light a candle, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? Then she calls her friends and neighbors and says, “Rejoice with me. I have found my lost coin.” In just the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy before the angels of God for one sinner doing penance.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- To leave ninety nine sheep in the desert is not a rational act. The shepherd thinks with his heart.
- The woman, also, treasures this special coin. For years, she has carried this coin of her dowry in her headdress.
- Their joys cannot be contained. Friends and neighbors must share the abundance.
- This is not a temporary finding. The sheep and the coin are symbols of heaven and an eternal union.
- God’s joy overflows to the angels. The soul that was lost for a time is now found for an eternity.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O God, I am precious to you. You are “mad”, in your unreasonable love for me.
- Let me repent, so you and your angels can rejoice.
- Thank you, O Lord, for coming in search for me when I was lost.
- O God, your joy will not be complete until our union is forever.
- You give your angels charge over me. They, too, rejoice at my return.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will stop running from God. In this way, he can find me more quickly.
- I will recall those special moments when God found me.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
There will be rejoicing among the angels.