TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR C EXODUS 32:7-11, 13-14/PSALM: 50(51):3-4, 12-13, 17, 19/ 1 TIMOTHY 1:12-17/ LUKE 15:1-32 Lost but found

TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – YEAR C EXODUS 32:7-11, 13-14/PSALM: 50(51):3-4, 12-13, 17, 19/ 1 TIMOTHY 1:12-17/ LUKE 15:1-32 Lost but found

In chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells three parables about losing, finding, and rejoicing. They are the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin and the parable of the lost son (the prodigal son). All three parables are on the subject of recovering the lost, which is the implicit explanation of why Jesus receives sinners and eats with them: They are lost, and he wants to recover them. May we who are lost either morally or spiritually or financially be recovered through Christ our Lord. Amen. There are other basic inspirations we can draw from today’s gospel readings:

Tendency to sin: Like the lost sheep we all have the tendencies to stray away from the right path, to seek the pastures that are not good. Do not condemn those that have gone astray. Isa.53:6 says “We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Anyone falling is capable of rising and anyone who is standing is should watch less he falls. So condemn no one.  Parents are usually advised not to give up on their children no matter their level of decadence. Children, in their journey through life they risk getting lost in doctrine or morals. Even adults, there are those who express tendency like the sheep that stray to seek pastures that are not good. Condemn no one, some of us may be morally sound but spiritually lost, some may be intellectually sound but morally bad. That is why you can see an intelligent guy but then is a cultist.  You may be so beautiful but character wise you are lost. (and so it is said, beauty may take a girl to the palace but character keeps her there).

In the same vein, you may always be present at masses but spiritually lost. You may always receive holy communion but communally lost. Like the Good shepherd that went in search for the missing one UNTIL he finds it, and the woman that searched for her one coin,   parents, teachers, and guardians should not give up on their children. Your other children may be very good like the 99 that did not stray.  No child is beyond repair. Its only despair that says a child is beyond repair. Go to the mechanic site, no car part is a waste. If the car is so bad they take the chair and use it as seats for customers. Therefore no body is a waste. Hear me parents one thing the devil does is to discourage you and dispose you for defeat. That is why the bible says in Heb.10:35 cast not away thy confidence for they shall be a recompense of reward. Therefore there is reward for those who are not discouraged.

Confess Your Sins: The son says in the Gospel “Father I have sinned against heaven and before you”. Confession of sins is an essential part of reconciliation. He had to acknowledge that he had gone astray. In the same vein we all have to acknowledge our fault and confess it to be forgiven. In 2Sam.12:1-13 When Nathan spoke to David, immediately David admitted his sins.  In John8:3-11the woman caught in the very act of adultery did not begin to deny or argue or shift blames. At times you get to see people who don’t admit their fault, yet want pardon and mercy. Some husbands will never admit their faults yet they want to be accepted. Some equally, extend this to the confessional, they come there and shift blames or hid sins and that is why the church gives us that general format where will say: “… through my fault, through my fault, and through my most grievous fault..” this repetition is purposeful. It is to make you to be sincerely conscious of it and just in case with repetition you are not still conscious the Church says strike your chest alongside with those words so that you become very conscious. (some of us are gradually disregarding this traditional and spiritual gesture) some of us no longer strike our chest…. ‘May be we have chest pain’ but if we don’t let us always do it. Take note, one condition for the forgiveness of sins is the confession of sins. If a sick man hides his sickness from the doctor his sickness will hide him.

Rise from that pit (Sin): The young man left his father’s house and later he realized that he has fallen; here he is in the ditch eating with swine, while the servants in his father’s house eat well. We too must realize that separation from the Father is self destruction. Sin is what separates us from God. We must realize that in sin we have fallen from grace. No one departs from the Father and live in grace. John 15:5 says “…apart from me you can do nothing”. Now realizing his nothingness he said to himself I will arise and go to my father. Failure is not fallen anyone can fall; failure is refusal to rise. Whenever we fall let us rise. Jesus fell on his way to cavalry yet he rose. It is in the habit of man to fall, but we can acquire the habit of saints by rising. The bible says Isaiah 52:2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise, O captive Jerusalem; loose the bonds from your neck, O captive daughter of Zion. Today we got to realize the need to rise from that dust of sin. Eph.5:14 says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.” And when he rose and went home we were told his father received him.

The First Reading, describes a classic instance of human failure in the Old Testament: Israel’s apostasy and rebellion in the incident of the Golden Calf. It also describes a classic instance of God mercy who after Moses plea forgave them. Man may always fall just as God always forgive because he is faithful to his promises. The Second Reading, presents us with a practical example of God mercy in the person of Paul. Paul is paradigm of God’s entire outreach to a sinful humanity. If God could forgive Paul then the rest of us can be forgiven because the Gospel describes him as the one who recovers the lost. When we are recovered what is next?

The next thing is New Life:  The gospel says  the father ran towards him and immediately he was dressed up in robe. The robe is the symbol of new life. Anyone who goes to confession experiences this new life. There is an inner joy, there is the feeling of new beginning.   2Cor 5:17 says if anyone be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature old things have passed away. Allow the old things to pass away. Allow the vices to go, don’t go back to those old friends that will make you repeat old acts. Don’t go back to those old locations and places that don’t befit your new life.

Fr. Dan Evbotokhai
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Fr. Daniel Evbotokhai is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. He was ordained October 20th, 2018. He offers his daily homilies, talks and articles that bother on, faith, theology, morals and many other burning issues in religion and politics. Fr. Daniel writes poems, inspirational quotes and clips.

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