Afterword

Have you ever stopped to think about what the word "Salvation" means? As far as we know, everyone wants to be saved. But what does that really mean? According to the Michaelis Dictionary, to save means a) rescue, deliver, free: he saved my life. b) protect, defend, screen, preserve. c) redeem. That is, for salvation to exist, it is necessary that a high-risk situation exist beforehand. Unfortunately, this is the condition in which we find ourselves after sin has taken hold of this world.

 

But that was never God's desire. When He created man, He did so for them live in harmony with heaven, with nature and his fellow men, without wickedness, without danger, without death. Even with the arrival and degradation of sin, God did not give up on us, but He loves us so much that He wants to restore His original plan, to rescue humanity and to save all.

 

The parables found in Luke 15 help us to understand this. Through simple illustrations bearing great significance, they make us reflect on our real spiritual situation. Do you identify with at least one of these stories? Not only with the parables themselves, but also with the reaction of the people who were with Jesus as He told them?

 

At some point in our life, these parables were or will be the illustration of our personal experience with Christ. And it may happen more than once as we can get lost in different ways. Sometimes we may not realize that we are lost, or it may be that we cannot remember the way back, or that, the recognition that we are not worthy to return home will leave us afraid and ashamed.

 

But the love of God is so great and so full of wisdom that He did not leave the parables just to show us our condition but also to present the solution. And you know what is the most beautiful part of these stories? It is that, however different the experiences and contexts are, there is always a pattern.

 

In all cases, there is someone eager to find and reclaim something valuable that has been lost. Someone who does not give up. And this One is Christ, who, despite Satan's countless efforts to draw us into sin, does not tire and does not give up seeking for us wherever we may be, always ready to offer His help, protection, and infinite love, as many times as necessary.

 

And what joy when the sheep is found! What happiness when the drachma is no longer lost! What a thrill when the child returns home! In all the parables, there are celebrations and festivities when what was lost is rescued. So it is also in heaven when a sinner accepts the invitation of our loving Savior. Do not wait any longer, seek the help and guidance of God, accept His invitation and let us all take part in this feast together.

 

Juliana Silva Mendes