The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
September 11th, 2022 – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 15:1-32
Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method.
Here is a contemporary account of “lost and found.” While mostly retired, I still devote some of my time to research and writing. I occasionally write book chapters, articles for publication, and each month, a set of reflections on the Sunday gospels called “The Nazareth Page.” I do all this aided by a recent invention called the laptop. (Although I doubt that many users work with it as it sits on their laps.)
Unlike some of our grandchildren, I am no expert on this relatively new technology. I suspect it has about a thousand functions, but I use only a few. I compose words and sentences and paragraphs and then I either “send” or “print.” That is the extent of my usage. And it’s enough.
The most trying and terrifying moment for me in this writing process is when I have written something, saved it, and when I returned to add to or modify what I had written, I can’t find it.
I go to where I thought it was stored, and I am greeted by a blank page. My words have been lost forever into a space that I have no idea how to enter. My initial response is panic, closely followed by terrible disappointment and anger. I close down my laptop and wonder whether I did something wrong or whether it was the fault of this mechanical device that seems to some a godsend, although not in my book.
Then a miracle happens. I randomly hit some keys, the screen lights up, and suddenly my words appear. My world changes. What I though was lost is now found. There is no greater joy than that.
Today’s gospel describes three examples of lost and found. A shepherd finds his lost sheep. A woman finds her lost coin. A father finds his lost son. All are stories of not giving up. Of not quitting. They are stories we can all relate to because we too live with loss.
It could be the loss of a dream. The loss of health. The loss of a relationship. Even the loss of faith and trust in God. The message in this gospel is always the same: Keep trying. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Hope for the best. Which is not to say that what is lost will always to restored or found. But maybe it will. Or maybe something even better will come our way. And its value will be deeply appreciated. For me, when I find my lost words, they are more valuable to me than ever before. In God’s eyes, being lost is not final.
©David M. Thomas, PhD