Read Phil. 3:3-8, Ps. 105:2-7, Luke 15:1-10

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4-5)

There is great joy in heaven when one sinner repents. Each time we make up our minds to stop a bad habit, there is great rejoicing and celebration in heaven. God is always happy whenever we begin to retrace our steps from sinful behaviors and actions. The Angels and Saints rejoice when we win the battle against temptation, come out of darkness and begin to live as God’s children.

You may wonder, what happens when I relapse or fall back into sin? The truth is that what matters is not how many times we fall, but how willing we are to pick ourselves back up. Like a baby learning how to walk, there is this sense of accomplishment when he recovers from a fall and staggers on again. The more we pick ourselves up, the more strength we gain to overcome that particular sin. Gradually, it becomes a thing of the past.

Complete and total repentance from sin (such as a habitual immoral act) may not happen overnight but when it does happen, you have become victorious, you have fought the good fight and finished the race. In fact, as far as that action is concerned, you were lost but now found. God celebrates when this happens.

Since God desires this happens, He always supports our efforts at repentance. As we saw in the case of Zacchaeus, sometimes all it takes is for us to climb a tree; that is, to change our environment, to leave our comfort zone, to change the kind of friends we keep, to spend more time in prayer, to devote time to Bible Study, to challenge ourselves, or simply to challenge ourselves to do what we would not normally do. Once God sees our efforts, He would surely come to eat in our homes (that is, our hearts).

St. Paul in today’s first reading says he counts everything else as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. For St. Paul, nothing else matters in life other than knowing Christ. Until you are able to reach this conclusion personally, you would continue beating about the bush; looking for happiness where there is none – expecting the world to give you something that only Christ can give. Make God happy today, come out of sin, replace your vices with virtues, embrace holiness, truthfulness, and righteousness,  and you too will share in God’s happiness.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to retrace my steps knowing your arms are always open to welcome me. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of week 31 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Phil. 3:3-8, Ps. 105:2-7, Luke 15:1-10)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu