First Reading: Is 40:1-11; Psalm: 96. R. v. Is 40:9-10; Gospel: Mt 18:12-14
LOOKING OUT FOR THE LOST SHEEP
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The ninety nine sheep that were left behind began to murmur and complain as they saw their shepherd returning from his search and carrying on his shoulder the lost one among them. When the shepherd came to them and lowered the lost but found sheep, he expected the rest of the ninety nine to be grateful and happy; but the reverse was the case. They instead were sad.
One among the ninety nine sheep said to the shepherd, “Why do you always do this? You know this very sheep is a rebel. This is the fifth time you’re going in search of it within a space of one month and leaving us behind exposed to danger. Do we mean anything to you at all? Do you not care if anything happens to us? Why waste your time on this rebel that has refused to learn?” The shepherd replied, “I love you all as much as I love this very sheep. You should always look out for one another. Being together is safer than being alone.”
We all murmur and complain like the rest of the ninety nine sheep. There are always individuals we feel are stubborn and irredeemable. And we often can’t understand why some people waste their time trying to make them change. God believes in every one of us and will keep on trying to win us back through human instruments. The parable of the lost sheep encourages us not to give up on one another. Don’t come to that level of accepting that someone cannot really change. It is like downplaying the grace of God at work in each one of us.
When we feel that a brother or sister is recalcitrant; always remember that whoever stands alone is vulnerable and in danger. Christianity is a communion of believers. When a disciple is lost, the rest should be concerned. Because when a part of the body is cut off, the whole body is affected and feels the pain.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Merciful Jesus, give us the grace and disposition to look out for one another. Amen.
Thank you Padre for this beautiful sermon, more of God’s blessings.