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9/11/16 Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Reggie

Christ's parables always teach us something about God, but they also teach us something about ourselves.

The parables we just listened to clearly highlight God's mercy, his active love for sinners.

But they also give us an answer to the most difficult and urgent question that the human family has had to face in every generation: what is the meaning of our lives?

First, the parable of the lost sheep: When a sheep is lost and separated from the flock, it is helpless and vulnerable. It needs the flock and the shepherd to protect and guide it. Just so, every human person is created to find meaning and fulfillment in communion with God and others - thus the two great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbor. We were not created to be isolated, self-sufficient islands; we are meant to depend on God and others as we pursue happiness.

Second, the parable of the lost coin: The lost coin is completely without value unless it is possessed by its owner, unless it is part of the household's economy. Even if it had been a gold piece worth 1000 day's wages, it would be completely worthless if it stayed buried in the dust under the sofa - it would be of absolutely no use to anyone. Likewise, our actions and efforts in life only have real value when they are connected to the mission of the Church, the mission of building up Christ's Kingdom. Outside of the Kingdom we can do things and have adventures that appear exciting, but they lack the eternal value that they are meant to have, just like the coin that was lost.

Both parables reiterate the same lesson: our lives can only find meaning and fulfillment through Christ, with Christ, and in Christ.

It's easy for us to forget how privileged we are to know life's true meaning

Any Catholic who has received the gift of faith and studied the Catechism knows where we came fromwhy we are here, why life is at times so difficult, where we are going, and how to get there.

Christ has given us the answers to these questions through his revelation and through the teaching of the Church.

Those who have no faith, or those who have abandoned their faith in Christ, have no solid answers to these questions. 

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