Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Recognising our True Worth

Twenty Fourth Ordinary Sunday Year C

When you really love someone, you are prepared to do crazy things. A mother is prepared to sacrifice everything to care for a son who has rejected her, and who lives a life as a drunkard and drug addict. A priest is prepared to work among the people living in a leper colony, exposing himself to the same illness of those who he was caring for. A father is prepared to jump into a pool to save one son although he knows that he may also lose his life. All these people may appear to be crazy but love makes you do crazy things.

This is the craziness of the stories in today’s gospel. A shepherd leaves ninety nine sheep to go after the one that is lost. A woman forgets about the other nine drachmas and goes in search for the 10th drachma that is love. The world may say: Accept your losses and carry on with whatever that is left. But God’s ways are different from our ways. When God loves, He loves without limit. God is prepared to go all out, humble himself, endure suffering, in order to seek for the sinner – the one who has rejected him, the one who says that he does not need God, the one who doesn’t care for anything in life except himself. We may think in our human way that the best thing to do would be to let these kind of people carry on with whatever they’re doing, and we too carry on with our own lives.

But God never gives up even when we chose to give up. God never stops working even though we have longed ceased all efforts. God never stops loving even when we may feel that it is impossible to love in such a situation. This is our God – the most compassionate and merciful.

What does this tell us? Each of us is very important. Each of us has a special dignity. Each of us is unique. Each of us is priceless and worth saving. We are not just nameless objects created in some big assembly plant in heaven. That is the meaning of the parables in today’s gospel. The shepherd is not too worried that he may have made a bad business decision in abandoning the ninety-nine to go after the one lost sheep. This is because every single sheep is dear and important to him.

Sometimes, we fail to recognize our own dignity. Sometimes, we forget that we are precious. That is the reason why people get angry with others when they are made to feel small. That is the reason why people become jealous and selfish because they feel that they are not good enough.

The good news for each one of you today is this: “You are beautiful! You are special!” God loves you so much that he is prepared to send his Son Jesus to die for you! Even if you may feel that you are a big sinner, that you are a disappointment to your family and friends, that you have made so many mistakes in your life and no one will ever accept you - never doubt that God will never stop loving you.

When you go home today, take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Tell yourself: “God loves you… God loves me.”

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