THE LOST SHEEP
December 10, 2013
Today’s gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
If the lost sheep are the 99 rather than the 1, then let us tweak Jesus’ words a bit and reverse the situation. “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and ninety-nine of them go astray, will he not leave the one in the hills and go in search of the stray?” (v.12). Will he not be distraught, desperate, extremely worried? Will he not drop everything, skip his meal, to go immediately in search of them?
This is not just a parable but the reality in the world today. As such, there is great urgency to the work of the New Evangelization.
The 100 sheep were already in the sheepfold. They are already Catholics. But the 99 have strayed away. They are lapsed and nominal. They have joined sects and cults. They have conformed themselves to the secular world. But “it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (v.14). The salvation won by Jesus on the cross is for all. If God would go searching for the one lost sheep, then how much more for the 99 lost sheep?!
When even just one lost sheep is found, then Jesus rejoices (v.13). How much more would our Lord, together with all the angels in heaven, rejoice over the 99 who are found and brought back to the sheepfold?
Now we, if we are part of that 1% or even if not fully yet, are the ones tasked by the Master to find and help bring back those lost sheep, those lapsed Catholics. Do we want to make our Lord happy? Do we respond with great urgency to the task. Do we give our all, enduring and persevering through trials and adversities? Do we praise and thank God for the privilege?
What is your opinion?
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God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)