In this week’s edition of our weekly newsletter, Scott Gunn considers the parable of the lost coin, and what it can tell us about God’s relentless patience and boundless mercy.
This coming Sunday’s readings carry reminders of God’s boundless mercy to us and to all people. St. Paul admits that he is among the foremost of the sinners that Christ Jesus came to save. He writes about how “in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience.” In other words, if Jesus can save a messed up person like St. Paul, who used to persecute the faithful, then Jesus can save anyone.
In Sunday’s Gospel, we hear St. Luke’s telling of the parable of the lost coin, how a person searches diligently for a lost coin. And if someone can rejoice at finding a lost coin, then “I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Do you hear it? These readings are about grace, about God’s desire that we might be saved and God’s relentless patience with us. Throughout the Gospels, we read again and again about Jesus’ love of outcasts and sinners. We read about grace, how God forgives people and expects us to do the same. The spotlight is always on mercy, not justice.
Now think about our culture. We tend to be all about justice. We want to make people get what they deserve. We talk about working our way up the ladder. But the Gospel flips it all around. We receive God’s love, whether or not we deserve it. There’s nothing we can do to earn more of God’s love.
What would our culture be like if we too focused on mercy? What if we spent our energy looking for ways to be merciful? What if we placed a high price on going out of our way to forgive others?
By God’s grace, let us seek to be exemplars of mercy, beacons of God’s boundless love.
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