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The good news for the day November 3, 2016

Thursday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time (488)

When disreputable financiers and notorious people were “cozying up” to Jesus, religious leaders and educated people began to complain: “This man welcomes sinners and eats right along with them.” Jesus addressed this story to the: “What man among you would have a hundred sheep and—lose one of them—wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in there by themselves and go after that one that got lost until you find it? And when you find it, you set it on your shoulders very happily. When you get home, you call your friends and neighbors together and say to them, ‘Celebrate with me—I have found my lost sheep.’  I am telling you, it’s the same way—there will be more gladness in heaven over a single sinner who changes his ways—than for ninety-nine righteous people who don’t feel a need to change. Or what woman who has ten $100.00 bills, loses one, would not light a flashlight, sweep the house, go carefully searching until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls up her friends and neighbors to tell them, ‘Be happy with me! I have found money I lost.’  In the same way, I tell you, there will be pleasure among those who do God’s will over one sinner who changes.” (Luke 15)

These stories describe the difference—clearly—between two groups. The first group—addressed by Jesus—includes: “Pharisees”—any religious people—stuck in resistance to change, who emphasize practicing external religion and controlling people as well as smug, educated people who have lost their creativity, their souls and frozen into their principles.

The second group—Jesus describes—is you. Your real faith—covering your whole outlook—is like a seed, yeast, process, development, tree—a lifetime of growth. You are a wanderer, a seeker, hoping, praying—“I believe, help my unbelief.” At some point—sooner or later—you wrench yourself away from what you have learned to start looking in a completely different way at the world around you, to see it as Our Father has created it. Each day you are a lost sheep being found by your Shepherd-Father. Each day, you look for and find afresh the value in life—the deeper happiness of “the Realm that is Right.  The Good News is your growth, your growing insight.

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