What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
This gospel reminds me of the prodigal son. Those who do what they are expected and do not stray seem to get less notice. Those who wander off, perhaps to where they should not, and then get lost, receive fanfare and special celebrations when they return.
Parents are sometimes accused of having a favorite child. As a mother, I would say that is never true! Instead, what I would say is that sometimes an individual needs that extra attention, love, care, or guidance because it is what is required at the time, or so that they can return to a better path. How blessed we are that, when we stray, God will look for us until we return, and will rejoice when we are found!
Can’t we all find someone who needs a little extra care or support, not because he or she is a favorite or special, but because he or she is one of these little ones who is lost?
—Jane Glynn-Nass, RN, BSN, serves as Provincial Assistant for Health Care within the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.
Come home where the welcome runs to greet you. Come home to the fire that warms your soul. Return to the soul that bore your infant steps. Return to where I wait for you.
—Excerpted from the song “Come Home” by Bob Dufford, S.J., © 2005 OCP publications, Portland OR
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