It has been said that we are all in need of redemption. But what is the mechanism that leads to redemption? In today’s gospel passage from Luke, we learn that it is the persistence of God that continually offers us the opportunity to turn away from sin and believe in the good news.
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
If we feel that we are far away from God, we should remember that his greatest desire is to have us to return to him. He is merciful. Not only that, he will pursue us and he will not let us go. His love for us is beyond our imagining.