Sunday, September 15, 2013

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

"Lost and found" is a set of nouns as well as verbs. Many items end up in a "lost and found" box or drawer to be rediscovered later by a proper owner.

The painful "loss" is healed and true rejoicing happens when that thing is now "found." But being lost and found is a verb and experience that also is filled with pain, fear, and rejoicing.

All of the readings today allude to the experience of being "lost": in sin, stubbornness, anger, doubt, ignorance, selfishness, and pride. Being lost is a truly human condition experienced by all people at some point in their lives. It is being truly human but in a broken or wounded state.

Being found is a fully human and/or divine experience described beautifully in Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son and the ever-faithful father. There is no shame in becoming lost — it is truly a part of the human condition. There is shame, however, in refusing to be found because we won’t admit we’re lost or are too proud to ask for help. When the hand reaches out to find and save us, we don't accept it.

Love is the great power that seeks, finds, heals, guides, restores and makes us new. "Lost and found" is a part of living and faith, and an important part of our relationship with our God.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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