“This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” - Luke 15:24
This week in the gospel, we heard about the lost sheep and the prodigal son’s return. These are two stories that have been told to us over and over again. Each time the stories are told, I think about amazing it is how Jesus leaves the ninety-nine sheep to find the lost sheep. How incredibly forgiving the father is when the prodigal son returns. The week was the first time that I asked why.
Why did the shepherd leave the ninety nine sheep to find the one? Why did the father welcome his son back with open arms after he spends his entire inheritance carelessly?
The answer is love.
Jesus uses these parables to illustrate the love he feels for each of us. He loves each of us so much that he would leave the ninety-nine to find YOU. He welcomes YOU back forgivingly each time you fall. He loves each of us more than we will ever know. The challenge is to accept that love and to do our best to love Him the same.
It is hard to imagine that some one loves us so much, and sometimes it can even be a little overwhelming. It is even more difficult to keep a consistent prayer life and truest in the Lord when life doesn’t seem to be going our way. But it isn’t supposed to be easy. God gave us free will so that we could choose to love Him.
We must do our best to trust in the Lord and His unending love for each of us, and to love Him the same way.
This week, I challenge us to trust that we are loved and to try to love ourselves just like He does.