Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Matt 18:12-14

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

What is the significance of Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep? Shepherds normally counted their sheep at the end of the day to make sure all were accounted for. Since sheep by their very nature are very social and, an isolated sheep can quickly become bewildered and even neurotic. The shepherd’s grief and anxiety is turned to joy when he finds the lost sheep and restores it to the fold.

In other words, Jesus is primarily telling us that God will never stop in looking for a lost human being due to sin. God never neglects anyone for any reason whatsoever. He always goes and reclaims what has been lost. He never resigns in looking for us sinners. He is always seeking for us because He loves each one of us so much to the extent that He is even risking the ninety nine good persons in order to find us, sinners and bring us back to the flock. Actually God never risks anyone because the truth of the matter is that, practically, all of us have strayed away from Him. By quoting Psalm 14, St. Paul says to us: “All have gone astray, all like are worthless,” (Rom 3:12).

But who is to be blamed why one of us are wandering or leaving the flock, in our case, the Church? Of course we have our freedom and will and we have a choice either to remain in the Church or away from her. You know the blame is not only placed on the individual person but the blame could also be placed on the Church and we are the Church. We, the Church which the ninety nine remain, do not live up as His children genuinely. We allow others to wander away and perish and yet the most problematic and less influential member of the Church is, in God’s eyes, worthy.

Another reason why others wander or leave the Church could also be because of our bossy and proud characters, attitudes and hurtful words. And so this parable is not only about the shepherd, who is God, but also this is about each one of us who has caused somebody to leave the flock, the Church. And so what are we going to do now?

What we are going to do is to wait and prepare for the coming of the Lord during this Advent season. But how do we concretely prepare for the coming of the Lord? Let us be committed Christians. It is because being committed to Christ is not a boring thing but is the source of true happiness. Like for example, a report was made by George Gallup. He reported that less than ten percent of Americans are deeply committed Christians. These committed Christians are far, far happier than the rest of the population. Committed Christians are more accepting of others than the average American; more involved in charitable activities and are absolutely committed to prayer. While many more Americans than this ten percent profess to be Christians, most actually know little or nothing of Christian beliefs and act no differently than non-Christians. Overall, the Sunday school and religious education system in this country is not working.

At the end let us reflect these words from Billy Graham. He said, “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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