Yesterday’s reading in the Gospel of Luke had 3 parables which were the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. Yes all of them were lost, but in the end, they were all found again. Jesus will search and find that one lost person and bring him back to his loving embrace.
The first parable of the lost sheep is that our heavenly Father never loses us. He is willing to go after that one sheep and bring it back to safety. It is something that I can connect with as Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will bring me back when I have gone astray or fallen and cannot get up. He is the saving grace who never loses sight of us but we too must acknowledge that we are sinners and come back to him. Then, we are able to go out to pardon others in being merciful and compassionate like Jesus is to us.
The second parable of the lost coin is that our heavenly Father never loses count, God does not forget anyone, not you because you count. I felt that the recent canonization of Mother Teresa amplified this message. She was courageous and determined enough to be of service to others and in ensuring that all the poor she met counted in the eyes of Jesus. She loved everyone even those who were sick, dying or poor. She saw Jesus in these people and without hesitation administered to them.
On September 4th, Pope Francis said to the crowd during his homily who had gathered for Mother Teresa’s canonization mass so as to be made St Teresa, “Mother Teresa in all aspects of her life, was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defence of human life, those unborn, and those abandoned and discarded.”
I can relate because I went to help the Catholic Welfare Services (CWS) on their night mission on a Friday night from 10 am till late. Their role model is also Mother Teresa and I was part of the team who helped to distribute basic bread and a packet of drink to the homeless staying in the Rochor district.
May we also pray for those pregnant ladies infected by the Zika virus, that they continue to remain steadfast in faith and have the courage to go through with the birth of their babies in knowing that Jesus is with them and their families.
As I walked and distributed these care packets, I had thoughts of them being valuable because they each have their own story and skills, but due to difficult situations, they are forced to sleep on cardboard boxes and seek refuge in harsh conditions. Small things such as giving out basic necessities in ensuring that they have a meal in the morning is in itself an act of mercy.
In the eyes of God, every human life is precious and everybody counts no matter the circumstances as we all are children of God. This experience left a huge impact on me to keep an open mind and do the little things to help. Despite the hardships, the Missionaries of Charity’s work also serve the poor with love and in continuing the good work of Mother Teresa.
The last parable of the prodigal son is that God cares about your wholeness. He restores all areas and wants all of you. God is also always pursuing us relentlessly. Yesterday, while collecting the morning papers from the newspaper box, I saw a headline that interested me and it read “Meet Singapore’s McRefugees” which is about people who had difficulties and were seeking refuge at McDonalds. It is a small gesture by the McDonalds management that moved me and so these people are just being left alone.
It is about respecting them as persons and their dignity as persons. It is the fundamental explanation of the meaning of human rights. By allowing these people to stay, McDonalds is restoring in them the respect and kindness that they are welcome, as long as they do not create trouble or be inconsiderate to other diners.
These parables have made me connect more with the things that occur and encounter in life which I am grateful for. It is literally God guiding me to have a spirit-filled and led relationship with Jesus, and here are the 3 things to note:
1.) Have Gratitude – a grateful heart makes a grateful person!
2.) Give yourself more credit. Your life is good news too. Rejoice a bit more!
3.) Have more variation in prayer or just find time to pray!
Also, we keep the Pope’s intentions for the month of September in our minds as we go about our week, “That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the centre. That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelise.
God Bless! as we keep the words of God alive in our hearts and learn to see how God is guiding us today!
“Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society”- St. Francis of Assisi
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong