Saturday, September 10, 2016

9-11-2016 -- 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Sept. 11, 2016 - 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

The world we live in is fractured and broken, leaving many of us feeling frustrated, lonely, isolated and lost.

The US presidential campaign is an example. The campaign has hit new levels of incivility. Both candidates are crass and constantly attack each other. Most Americans feel excluded from the process of choosing our next leader.

It seems that everyone I talk to is unhappy with the choices we are being given and we don't feel like we are a part of the conversation. There is this feeling that the system is being controlled and manipulated by the powerful and wealthy.

Our economy is not much better. The current levels of inequality have devastated the middle class and things have only worsened since the recession of 2008.

Many people feel that they can no longer provide adequately for their families and feel helpless and lost and see no end to the troubles. Not only is the nation’s debt soaring; personal debt is soaring as well.

It's no surprise then to see the overwhelming number of people who believe our country is headed in the wrong direction.

Organized religion hasn’t fared much better. The number of people who claim that they have no religious affiliation continues to grow.

Religious communities like this one used to be a source of community, the place that held everyone together. It was the source, the center, the undergirding.

But now people doubt institutions or fear institutions or believe that our institutions are trying to control them.

Is it any wonder why we as Americans, despite all of our access to technology, feel lonelier and more lost than ever. When we are honest most of us can easily identify with being lonely, confused, and lost.

Paul in his letter to Timothy expresses these same sentiments. “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, an arrogant sinner.”

The Israelites in the desert quickly turn on the Lord God. Moses goes up the mountain to visit with the Lord and by the time he gets back the people are worshiping the golden calf.

Mother Teresa who was recently proclaimed a saint by Pope Francis expressed this same sentiment in her writings.

For much of her life, she struggled with feeling lonely and unloved. In one of her letters she writes, “You don’t know how miserable and nothing I am.”

In the midst of our sinfulness our feelings of worthlessness, worry and anxiety, self-doubt, and depression, in the midst of our lost feelings, Jesus offers us the lost parables, the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin.

Not only does he offer these parables but he eats with sinners and they seek out his company. God seeks out those who are lost. And God rejoices when we are found.

This is good news for us. In a world that leaves us fractured and broken, lost and lonely, our God seeks us out and rejoices when we are found.

Rejoice with me because I have found the one who I thought was lost.

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