Romans 14:7-12; Ps 27 I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living; Luke 15:1-10
Proprietary laws are those that regulate the rights to ownership of a thing, brand, or information. The use of said things always falls back to the discretion of the owner. The Proprietor is the master of his actions and has free disposition in regards to his property.
We see this quite a bit in the marketing world where companies have proprietary over brand names, designs, logos etc. Recently, if you are a Texas A&M fan, Johnny football was copyrighted to belong to current quarterback of Texas A&M.
Any abuse or misuse by others of these names, brands, designs or info can lead to legal liability, lawsuits, infringements and the rest.
It falls back to the owner of a thing to have the rights to do with his property was he so desires and others to respect that right.
St. PAul in today's first reading reminds us of that right which belongs to God has sole proprietor of our lives: "if we live we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then whether we live or die, we are the Lord's."
Why is this because of the death and resurrection of Jesus as St. PAul points out, "For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living."
By his death and resurrection Jesus has purchased the proprietary rights over us. We have been copyrighted as belonging to God. He now has exclusive rights in regarding to our lives.
Before Death reigned large and in charge but now in Christ we have new ownership.
St. Paul lays out the big picture for us, lest we forget what's at stake and whose the boss.
Our lives should reflect the glory of Christ.
Have we infringed on those rights by our choices, actions, lives we lead?
Have we broken the copyright and presented ourselves as belonging to another?
St. Paul reminds us that "each of us shall give an account of himself before God."
Even the issue of giving an account is filled with hope. The accounting we are asked to give points to the reality that life and death give way to "life again."
What's the point go giving an account if it all ends in death?
Which brings us to the gospel.
Why is there rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner?
Why does my confession of sin have such a reach and affect that even heaven experiences the consequences of such a decision?
Repentance is a returning, a returning to the harmony of things in which Jesus reigns as Lord. The infringement of the copyright ha sheen repaired and once again, Jesus has free disposition to use us for his glory and for our own glory.
It is interesting to note that "repentance" is the first note of Jesus' ministry, the first command given; Everything else follows from repentance, and nothing else seems to matter apart from it. Repentance is about changing our thinking about God and God's ways and how God works.
It involves trust. We must let Him have free disposition to use us as he desires.