Prayer: O Jesus, come and find me.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples.)
The parable of the Lost Sheep is connected to the Prodigal Son. Both show God’s love for the sinner. A hundred sheep was a medium sized flock. The shepherd must have been poor, unable to pay a helper. Matthew’s gospel stresses the shepherd’s unwearied search. Here, Luke’s gospel centers on God’s joy on the last day.
Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus told this parable to the Pharisees and the scribes. If a man with a hundred sheep loses one, does he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and search for the lost until he finds it? When he does find it, he places it on his shoulder rejoicing. On coming home, he gathers his friends and neighbors and says to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.” I will tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need repentance.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. To leave ninety nine sheep in the desert is not a rational act. The shepherd thinks with his heart.
2. He does not abandon his search, until he finds his lost sheep.
3. He does not scold the sheep but sees its wariness and places it on his shoulder.
4. His joy cannot be contained. Friends and neighbors must share in it.
5. This is not temporary. Finding the sheep is a symbol of heaven and an eternal union.
6. God’s joy overflows to the angels. The soul that was lost for a time is now found for an eternity.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. God, I am precious to you.
2. Your saints say you are “Mad” in your unreasonable love for me.
3. You never abandon your search for me.
4. O Jesus, carry me on your shoulders.
5. Jesus, your joy will not be complete until I am with you forever.
6. You give your angels charge over me. They, too, rejoice at my return.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will stop running from God. In this way, He can find me more quickly.
2. I will recall those special moments when God found me.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
There will be rejoicing among the angels.