Or what woman having ten coins and losing onewould not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
Today’s Gospel is a series of three stories, each of which is intended to contrast human economy with divine economy. Most of us would write off the lost coin or the lost sheep. Most of us would favor and reward the obedient son over the prodigal one. We criticize ancient religion for believing that God bestowed blessings on good people and curses on bad people, but we have adopted that idea ourselves. Sometimes we call it karma. But God’s loving gaze lingers on those who are lost – not the imaginary romanticized noble poor - but the people we really, really hate, who deserve our hate and fill us with white-hot righteous indignation. His is not a recognizable economy of grace. Is it good news or should it be rejected as impractical, socially irresponsible nonsense?