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.
Recently, I taught my freshman students the parables found throughout the Gospels. Not surprisingly, many knew of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. What was surprising was what they had to say about the parable.
One student spoke, quite profoundly, about why this parable had personal significance. She was struck by why God would set aside the 99 and look for the stray sheep. Identifying as the stray sheep, she articulated a sense of being valued because God is revealed as One who takes time to look for the one among the many.
This student expresses what we all want to experience–being valued–even when we lose our way. A question worth pondering today might be, how does God convey to you that God values you?
Good and gracious God, you have loved us since before we were born. You know the number of hairs on our heads. May we always dwell in this unconditional love, confident that we are valued by you, our Good Shepherd. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer teamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!