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The Stray Sheep – Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent
Memorial of Saint Nicholas, bishop
Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
Opening Prayer: Jesus, you know me and you know my ways. Nothing is hidden from you. You know how many times in my life I have been the stray sheep and I am so grateful that you have never given up on me. You will always search and lead me back to the fold. Grant me a heart of compassion and mercy for the lost sheep in my life.
- The Lost Sheep: Being a sheep in the flock of Our Lord does not mean that he desires to prevent us from choosing our own path in life. Choosing our own path is living the gift of free will. Straying, however, is different. Straying happens when we let our disordered passions, whims, feelings, and emotions determine our choices. We ask Jesus, with all humility, to restore order whenever we stray, so that we may remain in his flock and be a light to others.
- He Rejoices: Jesus rejoices over us! What a humbling thought. That’s how much we are worth to him. He keeps his eye on us, gently prodding, to keep us in the fold. When we stray, he leaves everything to find us, giving us many, many chances to find our way back. When we reflect on our worth and value in the eyes of Christ, we can more easily recognize that same value and worth in every other soul. Jesus wants every soul to join his flock.
- My Heavenly Father: It is not the will of my heavenly Father that one be lost. Jesus asks us to shepherd souls. Imitating him, we strive to be faithful priests or patient mothers, kind bosses, and loving children. He asks us to show the same compassion and mercy he showers on us to every soul he has entrusted to us.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, may I never judge the sheep who are “lost” for I too have been separated from the flock at different times in my life. I am blessed to have experienced your mercy and love. Help me to be a good shepherd and use my experience to relate to others and help draw them back to the flock for your glory.
Resolution: Lord, today, by your grace I will resolve to exercise mercy and compassion for one soul in the flock you have entrusted to me who seems to be going astray. I will find a way to be Christ-like to him or her with a smile, undivided attention, a listening ear.
For Further Reflection: Listen to the inspiring story of Fr. Donald Calloway, M.I.C., a lost sheep who found his way into the fold. Find the CD on Lighthouse Catholic Media.
Marjorie Davin is a lay member of Regnum Christi of 21 years who has served as director of the Women’s Section in the Washington, D.C., area. She and her husband just celebrated their jubilee anniversary of 25 years and are the parents of four adult children.