(Another Previous Article.)
I’ve asked several whiz kids if there was a gizmo (see how tech savvy I am?!) that would, with a push of a but-ton, trace lost articles to their source. Sort of a GPS for misplaced keys or calendars. I’d buy it in a second.
These weren’t available to shepherds at the time of Jesus either. Luke’s gospel, Chapter 15, tells us the story of the lone sheep who leaves the 99 to wander about. Why not clip a little chip on each sheep and know its position on your shepherd radar screen?
It’s not like that. Things get lost. Keys, pens, cars, you, me. Have you ever been lost? It can be scary. I remember my father in his early 80’s arriving home two hours late for our dinner. Mom, was sick with worry. Dad arrived white as a ghost, almost trembling.
“WHERE have you been?!” “I was lost.” Dad said. It turned out he’d had a mild stroke while driving the car. A city that he knew like the back of his hand suddenly lost all recognition. “Where am I?” Nothing looked familiar. He could have been in Buenos Aires for all he knew.
Slowly, the confusion passed. Buildings and street signs started to communicate where he was and finally he’d found his way home!
So, what’s the point? In Luke’s gospel, Jesus was having dinner with “sinners”, people who had lost their way, wandered off. The scribes and Pharisees insisted that these people be shunned until they found their way back. Jesus says “No. These are the ones I’ve come for.”
He searches the highways and byways for us. What does this search look like? Dinner. Conversation. Wine. Laughter. Stories. Friendship. Not church. Not yet.
What does this say about our children and grandchildren who have seemingly walked away from the faith? Will He find my lost child?
Yes. But probably not the way you would imagine.
Something new has to happen. Something, that on the surface has nothing to do with “Church”, or priests, or going to mass and confession.
Sometimes, we have to meet Christ on the street or in the pub, or a movie, or a conversation with your closest friends. Something beautiful needs to happen. Something that reminds us of a “home” we have always longed for, a moment that touches us with its beauty, power and humanity.
Like, Sleeping Beauty, a person is invited to a deeper life. It’s called love. And this love comes from Christ. And all who abide in this love are children of God.
Parents. Grandparents. You have this love in you. Be confident of it. Give it to your young ones lavishly, humor-ously, gently . . . then, when you are alone . . .beg Jesus to add the church thing!
Remember, he’s out on the heath looking for them. He’s the Good Shepherd. Come. Meet Him at Mass.
God loves you more than you know.