Readings for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost

     Luke 15:1-10; 1 Timothy 1:12-17; Ezekiel 34:11-24

The first job of Jesus’ parables is to teach us something about God. Only then do they teach us something about ourselves. So what does Sunday’s Gospel tell us about God? His heart aches for those whose hearts do not ache for Him. He is perfectly patient. He does not give up looking for the lost. His joy in finding the lost is so abounding, He must share it with others. And now the question God puts to me: will I share in His joy when the lost are found? Can I see myself in the one who is lost? Can I see that the celebration of his rescue is at the same time a celebration of my own (Lk 15)?

The Old Testament lesson shows that God has not changed since the beginning of creation. He has always been the rescuer of lost sheep. And the promised appointment of a “David” to shepherd His people is a prophecy about Jesus (Ezk 34).

Lastly, the Epistle lesson fits well with Sunday’s overall theme. Paul thanks Jesus for showing him “perfect patience”, rescuing him from his past and appointing him as a most unlikely apostle (1 Tim 1).