November 3, 2011 - Thursday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

Jesus is explaining to us how much God loves us, and I think he hits on the perfect analogy: God loves you like you love money.

The woman in today’s Gospel is unreasonably excited over such a small amount of money. She loses a dollar, so she lights a lamp and searches the house. How much oil did she use in the lamp? Probably about a dollar’s worth. How much time did she waste, looking for the dollar? Probably more time than it would have taken to earn another dollar. But the irrationality of the woman knows no bounds. She then calls all her friends together to celebrate, in the middle of the night, that she has found the dollar. Most of them would just like to go back to sleep when they find out what all the fuss is about. “What’s the big deal?”, someone says, “It is just a dollar.”

Yet if she is unreasonable, we can sympathize. I remember reading about how various wealthy people make so much money every second that if they dropped a $100 bill, they should not waste the time to pick it up. This is true for all of us on some level. It is probably never worth the time or effort to pick up a penny. It is just of such little value. Nevertheless, people do pick up pennies and waste time counting them and when we drop a dime we will crawl on our hands and knees to retrieve it.

The woman is excited about the dollar because she only has ten dollars. God is excited about each new convert as if he only had ten people on earth. Does God really care about each one of us, personally? Yes. He does. The joy in heaven is “in the sight of the angels.” What are the angels looking at? God. So the image is not really the angels rejoicing but all the angels watching God dance for joy whenever a new sinner converts. “What’s the big deal?”, one might ask, “It is just another human.”

Brothers and sisters, who would have imagined how important we are to God? If I am not amazed that he values me so much, since human pride knows no bounds, I should consider anyone whom I despise or consider worthless: God loves them too. How does God love them? He loves us in a down-on-his-hands-and-knees-looking-under-the-refrigerator for us kind of way.