The Gospel reading this week speaks of the joy when lost things are found. Jesus used the image of a lost sheep and a lost coin to describe the joy in God’s Reign when people turn from sin to Jesus’ way. There are two important truths that must be remembered as we read these parables. The first is that what Jesus means by “being found” is not primarily about accepting certain intellectual ideas and being assured of heaven when we die. For Jesus, a person is found when they recognise that the values of this world do not bring life, and they turn to embrace the values of God’s Reign and live a life of love and justice here and now. The second truth to remember is that for us to know we have been found, we need to repent – that is, we need to change our values, actions and, yes, our thoughts, to align with those of God’s Reign.

This act of repentance is not a once-off experience. Rather, it is a choice we must make every day as our hearts are captured more and more by the vision of God’s Reign. This is where readings like Psalm 51 are so helpful. Written after David’s sins of adultery and murder, this Psalm is one of the most powerful prayers of repentance in the Bible – which is why it is one of the set readings for today. You may want to carry the words of this Psalm with you throughout this week as we seek to do the work of repentance.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.