Radio Show

Father Jeff Kirby: The Woman and the Missing Coin


Author, theologian, and friend of the show Father Jeff Kirby chats with Father Dave about his new book, “God’s Search for Us: Five Truths from a Missing Coin.He explains the how a commonly overlooked parable relays the message of God’s search for his people, and offers insights into our celebration of the Mass.

Father Dave points out that Father Kirby’s book is a dissection of the parable of the lost coin in Luke’s Gospel. Father Kirby explains, “The parable is from Luke 15, and in that parable we have the story of the lost sheep, the story of the lost coin, and of course the famous prodigal son. And most people know the prodigal son and the lost sheep, but the lost coin kinda gets missed … what’s surprising for me, of the three, the missing coin has come to resonate more and more with me.”

“It beautifully describes the whole of salvation history. The woman in this story represents God. She searches diligently for the coin. She lights the candle and she sweeps. She is actively looking for this coin and that is how God is searching for each one of us … Long before we ever think about looking for God, he’s already been searching for us. And even when we think that we’ve initiated this search, we’re really just responded to the search that he started long ago.”

Father Kirby discusses a few more lessons we can learn from this parable. “In times we’re so ready to accept darkness … either in ourselves or others, or we’re willing to be accomplices because we’re being overly passive in terms of evil in our society. And the Lord comes, and part of that search [for the coin] is that he wants to get that darkness out because he comes as light. He wants to bring this radiance and splendor to us, so that we can understand our dignity as his children.”

“We also know that in the parable when the woman finds the coin, she invites her friend over. In fact, we’re told by biblical scholars that the cost of the candle that she lit in her search and the cost of the reception she had for her friends probably far outweighed the cost or value of the missing coin. But what we find is that she is so happy to invite her friends to be with her and celebrate … and the great celebration in the parable can be compared to our celebration of the Eucharist. We are a community that has been found, called together, and to celebrate together.” (Original Air 1-09-19)