Sunday, September 11, 2016

Homily Sunday 24C: "Everything I have is yours."

Have you ever noticed how precious even a very simple thing can seem once we believe we no longer possess it?

Something in our possession may go unnoticed, unused, unneeded for a long time but, once we become aware it is lost, we suddenly value it more than anything else because we believe it's suddenly beyond our reach.

All of us know this experience very well. We might say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. When you have ten coins, one does not seem in comparison to count for much among the rest until you become aware it’s lost.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?"

God uses this insight from our human experience to help us understand His thirst to embrace everyone in His love, the only thing which saves lost souls.
Leaving the 99 in search of the one only makes sense from this perspective: that when it comes to souls God does not wait until we are lost to love us but, when we are, knows the truly desperate situation we are in.

The prodigal son treated his father as if he was dead when he demanded his inheritance but in fact, as the father makes clear, it was the son who was dead.

Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.”

All of us at some time are the prodigal son, and we return to the Father who clothes us in grace again for the feast of the Eucharist through the sacrament of Confession. But any of us at any time can also experience the life of the Church family as did the elder son and, we must always remember, to us the Father says,

‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours. “

He invites us also to feast and celebrate because at many Masses and on many Sundays the prodigal sons and daughters return to Him, present among us here, and we cannot but always share in the joy of the Father rich in mercy for each of us.

The sign of true conversion is living every day with the "everything" of the Father rather than wandering off into the false freedom of the prodigal which, in truth, is death.

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