Like any good teacher, Jesus will always be quick to put analogies to his teaching in order to clarify. Often when people ask him questions he will respond with parable teaching. Today’s gospel is one of those examples.
Many people are drawing closer to Jesus and this offends the Pharisees and scribes. They begin to complain. Why is this man of respect, and so-called miracle worker, fellowship with these sinners? In answer to their complaint, Jesus tells two parables, the lost sheep and the lost coin.
The shepherd image is a very familiar one to the Jews. There was close relationship between shepherd and sheep. The shepherd would go so far as to travel mountains and ravine to seek the lost. Once found, after a long journey, joy and celebration would follow. The woman who loses her coin, painstakingly, searched the house to find the lost coin. The house swept; lamps lit in order to make a thorough search for the one lost coin. Again, joy and celebration would follow having found the coin.
Both parables speak about the joy one discovers in finding the lost object. Sinners and tax collectors are seemingly the lost ones whom Jesus celebrates with joy their entrance in the Kingdom of God. God is like the shepherd or the woman making that thorough search for the stray and lost. The search does not end until it has been found again. The very ones who draw near to Jesus have found the treasure. The complainants are still searching!
In our own lives, we know what joy there is when we have found something we have been looking for. We also do the thorough search in order to find. Once found we do not want to let it go. Jesus searches for us. Have we allowed him to find us and bring us home? There will be great rejoicing in heaven over one who repents.

Have you found the Lord?

Lord, you search me and you know me. Give me the joy of being found by you again. Amen