We hear him say that all of that was nothing compared to the certification which comes from knowing "my Lord, Jesus Christ." His image of himself has changed. By being circumcised, a pharisee and a zealot, he knew who he was by what he did. In knowing Christ, Paul knows also who he is and what he has to do with his life.
"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them," is the response we hear in today's Gospel by the scribes and pharisees. Jesus has not given up on the lost and they are gathered around him.
Jesus, while eating with the tax collectors and other sinners, addresses a couple of little, but devastating parables to His accusers.
A woman lost a little coin and searched all over the house for it. She found it and was of great joy. A shepherd lost one little sheep and left his flock to search for it. He found it and carried it home in great joy.
Jesus is the one Who is searching and finding and rejoicing over our being the found. Paul celebrated in his whole life having been once the pharisaical judge and now the humbly found. He was once the searcher and now knows himself to be the once sought.
There is no lesson to be learned today, but two persons to be watched and listened to. Paul tells us our story too. Jesus tells us His story. Paul's story is about our being found with no official certification except being found in Jesus through baptism and the Eucharist. Jesus tells us about Himself as the One Who sweeps all the corners of our lives to help us find ourselves in Him. He does not give up on us as we wander away seeking other kinds of pastures.
No lessons today, only the allowing of ourselves to be in the Lost-but-Found,
who are gathered with tax collectors and sinners around Jesus at the Eucharistic
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