Luke 15: 1-10 Be With Me In Times Of Trouble
“When we were lost and could not find our way to you Lord, you loved us more than ever!” (First Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation)
This is what it is all about: to love and be loved even when you and the other do not deserve it. The wise man knows he knows nothing. But the holy man knows he deserves nothing. And yet the holy man does know - is fully conscience of - the undeniable fact that the Lord truly loves him, and in all circumstances! When I am the victim, I take the place of another. When I am the perpetrator, I can expect judgment or forgiveness. No matter where I am, I am found. No matter where I stand. I will bow before the Lord in all his majesty. His love will inebriate me or consume me.
“Let your hearts rejoice who search for the Lord” (Ps 105:3b). But the truth is, my heart will rejoice even when I do not search for the Lord because He will find me.
“Where are you?” These are the first words spoken by God to Adam and Eve immediately after their colossal fall. The sacred writer is inspired, through poetry, to retell Man’s Fall from the Lord’s perspective. It is you, not I, that are responsible for your demise.
Yes, we are the ones who strayed away and turned our world upside down. We sing not the Psalmist’s prayer but to our very own requiem: I, who dwell in the shelter of the Underworld; who abide in the shadows of the night. You say to the Lord, You are not my refuge or fortress; you are my enemy in whom I cannot trust!
“Where are you?” are not the words of an angry God. Rather, they are the words of a jealous God, of a Father looking for his lost children. They are similar in tone to Mary’s question, “Where have you been?” Jesus was in his Father’s home radiating with light, while Adam and Eve were in a wild jungle, hiding from the searchlight.
St. Paul got it all wrong! He was zealous in persecuting the Church. He was ferocious in his approach. “He belonged to the race of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, in observance of the law of a Pharisee” (Phil 3:7). Today, he would be compared to those intellectuals that base their findings upon their own starting points – their rock of knowledge. St. Paul’s line of thought was as follows: “Let us assume for a moment that Jesus is not the Lord…” then Christ performed no miracles, including the resurrection. Therefore, he was simply a phenomenal preacher and, at the same time, the greatest of liars. Hence, all truths collapse. How else could it be since we eliminated the Truth at the very beginning?
St. Paul’s enlightenment came about when he saw the Light; when he got off his high-horse and fell to his knees like a man, instead of standing above the ground as if he were the “Almighty.” To search for someone means to keep looking for someone and never giving up on someone. Paul is Saint Paul not because he gave up on the Christians, but because he searched for them and was sincere in his passion, honest in his hatred, and lawful in his approach! He continued to search for the Christians until the Lord, the ultimate Christian, finally allowed himself to be found.
It was at this moment that the Lord turned the saint’s world right-side up! Paul continued to search for Christians with passion and zeal, but this time, by loving them before they had been found!
Allow The Lord to find you in times of trouble and even more when you are the source, the cause, of all His troubles. Let us allow ourselves to rejoice when we have been found! How? By forgiving someone today. By loving them unconditionally, and by giving generously to the Lord who is wondrous in all his deeds!