September 15, 2019: The 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time

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For as long as I can remember, the gospel has been my source for answers to the types of questions that I’ve found sprouting in my heart. However, today’s gospel reading happens to be a passage that has challenged me in the past. I have struggled to wrap my mind around understanding why a woman would rejoice about finding a mere penny, a shepherd would risk losing his entire flock to retrieve one sheep, or a disrespectful son would be welcomed home and treated like a king.

To me, not a single one of these moments sounded worthy of the joy and excitement that the woman, shepherd, and father displayed. A friend of mine asked me if I considered the parables from a different perspective and reminded me how the stories actually had very little to do with the coin, lost sheep, or son but rather everything to do with the woman, shepherd, and father. Working through the perspective, I felt the truth washing over me. My mentor was right. None of this had to do with the woman, the shepherd, the father, or even myself, and everything to do with Him, our Lord.

How many times have I attempted to hide, like the coin and sheep, from the plan the Lord has written within my being? How many times have I failed to open myself up to the Lord due to my own preoccupations, fear, or lack of awareness? All of these moments and yet, the Lord continues to search for me, awaiting a conversation with me. All of these moments and yet, the Lord continues to be so madly in love with me. Dear sisters and brothers, continue to prepare yourselves to be found by the Lord, our Creator and greatest admirer. Each time we choose Him, we are reminded of his overwhelming amount of compassion for us.

Jess Abbott is an Air Force officer currently residing in Japan. She loves everything about the salty ocean, long distance phone calls to the US, and the beauty of Jesus and the Catholic Church. Come say hi to her on Instagram!