It was the first full week back to school, and before the second class of the week, I had lost my brand new grey water bottle. The next day, I had a new green water bottle, which I was determined to keep safe. But I had lost it by the end of the day. I never found the grey water bottle but, thankfully I found my green one the next day. Since I found it, I have lost it 6 others times, (including Friday) during the week. My mother now sees me having a water bottle a hopeless cause, since I lose it every day. But how happy I am when I find it every time.
Taking a look at this weekend’s Gospel we are given three scenarios of being lost and being found again. The shepherd going out to find the sheep, while leaving the 99 behind, the woman who lost a coin out of her ten and the father whom lost his son in many forms. Looking at these readings, after finding the lost animal, coin, and son, none of them focus on the fact that they lost it, but rather they rejoice because they have it again.
The father, after the son repents, says NOTHING about his son’s actions. He forgot and forgave his son, and rejoiced that he came back. The father is a character we all need to imitate- forgive and forget. He forgave instantly and forgot about what had happened. We all forgive, but do we truly forgive? Do we forgive deep down that we can throw a party? Maybe not all the time, since it’s not easy to forgive with our whole heart. How many of us can forget after that incident? Do we truly move on or do we still clench on to the evil done to us?
As we read and listen to the first reading we hear the Lord telling Moses that he will destroy the Israelites, and save only him because he is the faithful one. Sounds familiar to Noah doesn't it? The people of Israel had become frightened and confused, and so they built a golden calf, which made God upset. But Moses negotiated with the Lord, and made the Lord change his mind. So the Lord didn't kill the people, instead he gave them a rule book for life- the Ten Commandments.
St Paul tells us of the mercy of Christ Jesus. For Paul were a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. That was his past. He can’t change it- that’s whom he was. But by the mercy given to him by Christ Jesus, he was forgiven and that side of him was forgotten by the Lord. Paul became the foundation of our Faith. He was the man that preached to their know world. And it was him, Peter and the others that really spread the faith. But Paul’s past was forgotten- he was better known and they didn’t focus on his past. (Paul did while writing to prove points however)
Given the fact that I have lost my water bottle over 8 times in the first week of school isn’t a great sign for the rest of the year. We cannot change the past, and so, we were given three scenarios in the Gospel of how we must rejoice in finding, in the good, instead of looking at what we cannot change. It is a lifelong challenge for us all to learn to truly forgive, and forget and not to clench onto the past. For it is in Christ Jesus that we are given mercy. So let us not look at the lost that we lost our water bottle but rejoice that we have found it!