A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke 15:1-10
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: 4 “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? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
A woman’s daughter had asked the local minister
to come and pray with her mother.
When the minister arrived,
he found the woman lying in bed with her head propped up on two pillows.
An empty chair sat beside her bed.
The minister assumed that the woman
had been informed of his visit…
‘I guess you were expecting me, he said.
‘No, who are you?’ said the mother.
The minister told her his name and then remarked,
‘I saw the empty chair and I figured you knew
I was going to show up..’
‘Oh yeah, the chair,’ said the bedridden woman
‘Would you mind closing the door?’
Puzzled, the minister shut the door.
‘I have never told anyone this,
not even my daughter,’ said the woman.
‘But all of my life I have never
known how to pray.
At church I used to hear the pastor talk about prayer,
but it went right over my head…’
I abandoned any attempt at prayer,’
the old woman continued, ‘
until one day four years ago, my best friend said to me,
‘ Prayer is just a simple matter
of having a conversation with Jesus.
Here is what I suggest..
‘Sit down in a chair;
place an empty chair in front of you,
and in faith see Jesus on the chair.
It’s not spooky because he promised,
‘I will be with you always’..
‘Then just speak to him in the same way
you’re doing with me right now…’
‘So, I tried it and I’ve liked it so much
that I do it a couple of hours every day.
I’m careful though.If my daughter saw me talking
to an empty chair, she’d either have a nervous breakdown
or send me off to the funny farm.’
The minister was deeply moved by the story and
encouraged the old woman to continue on the journey.
Then he prayed with her, anointed her with oil,
and returned to the church.
Two nights later the daughter called
to tell the minister that her mama
had died that afternoon.
Did she die in peace?’ he asked.
‘Yes, when I left the house about two o’clock,
she called me over to her bedside,
told me she loved me and kissed me on the cheek.
When I got back from the store an hour later,
I found her ‘.
‘But there was something strange about her death.
Apparently, just before Mom died,
she leaned over and rested her head on the chair
beside the bed. What do you make of that?’
The minister wiped a tear from his eye and said,
‘I wish we could all go like that.’
Just send this to four people or more,
and do not break this, please.
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.
I asked God for water, He gave me an ocean.*
I asked God for a flower, He gave me a garden.*
I asked God for a friend, He gave me all of YOU…
If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship God
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God.
“Dear children! With Motherly perseverance and love I am bringing you the light of life to destroy the darkness of death in you. Do not reject me, my children. Stop and look within yourselves and see how sinful you are. Be aware of your sins and pray for forgiveness. My children, you do not desire to accept that you are weak and little, but you can be strong and great by doing God’s will. Give me your cleansed hearts that I may illuminate them with the light of life, my Son. Thank You.”