“Each of us is that sheep that the Lord, full of mercy, takes upon his shoulders to take home. At the same time, each have been called to gather together with the Good Shepherd and the whole flock, to participate in all of their joy………. We can not demand the Lord to stay with us, forgetting the others. If you want to 'have Him,' we must follow to where the lost sheep is found.” – Pope Francis: (Pope's general audience: 5/4/2016)
Gospel Text: (MT 18:12-14)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
What does it mean to be a "lost sheep?" In Jesus' context, he was most likely talking about people who have forgotten about God or who have lost their faith. Most certainly, he was also referring to the marginalized in our community, those who are suffering, the poor, the downtrodden--the ignored sectors of our society.
Bringing this down to our own daily lives, who might you consider the "lost sheep" in your life? Might there be family members who have been shunned by others? Could you have enemies whom you have rejected as being utterly evil? Do you encounter and ignore the homeless people and families living on the streets?
Bring this to prayer today and listen to how Jesus is calling you to answer.