Parables: the lost sheep & the lost coin

Today Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (15:1-10) in which the tax collectors and sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say.

Today, we have the first two of three Lukan stories about forgiveness. Luke, says Fr Paul, likes dealing in threes.

Firstly, there is the parable of the lost sheep and as written in the gospel for Luke, there is much joy in heaven when a sinner returns.

Secondly, we hear the parable of the lost coin. Luke is always careful to show that women have an equal part in the kingdom with men.  There is rejoicing, too, when she finds the lost coin.

In both cases in the parable, the initiative to find the lost comes from the shepherd and the woman, respectively. There is also a contrast in these two parables that we must be aware of and need to take into account. How wise is it to go looking for one sheep, leaving 99 behind for the thieves and predators to take advantage. How wise is it to find a coin and then spend much more on a party to celebrate with neighbours?

Repentance that is talked of in this Gospel is a favour of God.

For our reflection today, Fr Paul says, we might ask ourselves, ‘What areas in my life at the moment are in need of repentance? What areas in my life are in need of God’s favour?