Devotional Thought of the Day:
12 “What do you think a man does who has one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost? He will leave the other ninety-nine grazing on the hillside and go and look for the lost sheep. 13 When he finds it, I tell you, he feels far happier over this one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 In just the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost. Matthew 18:12-14 (TEV)
199 “He hasn’t got the time?—So much the better. Christ is interested precisely in those who do not have the time.” (1)
“Some people want to live with the sound of chapel bells, but I want to run a mission just a yard from the gates of hell!” (2)
The parable of the 100 sheep is one the church needs to hear today.
But we won’t like it, if we hear it, the parable will bother us, it will irritate us at first. I can here people saying, “Why would Jesus leave us behind? Why isn’t he here with us, why does Jesus go after that stubborn lost sinner?”
Of course, we won’t say that aloud. But when we see the church’s primary ministry to its members, that is exactly what we are saying. There is no lost sheep that Jesus would search out, rescue, reveal Himself to, so that he can care for them, heal their souls, and bring them back home. It has been His mission since the Trinity laid down this plan before the foundation of the world.
St Josemaria says it well, Jesus is acutely interested in those who do not believe in Him, in those that think Christianity is a bunch of myths, that it was a religion dreamed up and changed in order to get people to behave properly. He is interested in those broken by sin, by sexual sins, by greed. He is interested in those with broken marriages, broken families, those who grieve. He wants to be with those who have no time for Him, because of all of those things and more.
He will even leave behind the “good people” to search them out!
Well, sort of.
Okay, not really.
You see, it is those of us, nourished by God, who Jesus takes with Him to search out those He is interested in finding. He would through our hands, our voices, our lives, and brings back those who need healing and cleansing and restoration; even as we do, even the healing we are finding in Christ.
For we have been sent by God into the world, even as Jesus was sent into the world. Not to condemn it, but to work in Christ to see it reconciled to the Father. Its what we do – as Christ’s body, as His people.
It’s not that Jesus is less interested in us, it is that He can’t bear to see one of His people, on of the Father’s children, off alone. Off in dangerous places. dangerous to the body and to the soul.
Lord have mercy on the lost ones, and have mercy on us by guiding us to them, that we can remind them of your love. AMEN.
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 1039-1040). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
(2) Rough remembrance of the opening lines of Steve Camp’s song, “Run to the Battle”