Today’s Gospel: Luke 15, 3-7 – Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Today’s Gospel is an intense declaration of Jesus’ love, forgiveness and care for each and every one of us. If one is lost, or straying or confused, Jesus the Good Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine in safety, in search of the one. This message, integral to our faith, is crucial and comforting. This Gospel passage earnestly proclaims the sacred significance of “the one,” of each and every life.
This Gospel also challenges us to action. Kahlil Gibran captures the message of this passage, in reality, of the entire Gospel: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” The story proclaims that Jesus is willing to always give himself. In our lives, do we give our possessions or ourselves? What determines the difference? Surprise someone today with a gift of yourself. The what, the how, the “size” doesn’t matter.
An exciting reality about Jesus’ stories and parables is that they can have multiple meanings; there is always a new focus, a further challenging implication for us.
In addition to the message of searching for the lost, giving of ourselves to others in need, might this story also have a challenge for us in our world of busy-ness, in our world of multi-tasking?
Have our lives filled up with “99” things? Are we busy about so many things, that we’re missing the beauty, the wonder, the importance of “the one,” of each individual?
Today’s feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a feast of unconditional love, also calls us to conscientious attentiveness to the unique needs of each person, each “one”. Is there someone you have neglected recently, or slowly drifted away from, because of the “ninety-nine” things in your life? Make a conscious decision/resolution to reconnect with them.
How do I need to slow down amid the “ninety-nine” things of life, to recognize God in all of them, to remember the importance of each person I meet, giving them my love and care?
Shepherding God, thank you for your loving kindness, always guiding me, always searching for me, even when I may forget You.
Copyright 2016 Sr. Janet Schaeffler, OP
A facilitator of days of reflection/retreats, parish missions, workshops/presentations, author, and teacher, Janet Schaeffler, OP continues the ministry she was involved in for many years in parishes and as Director of Adult Faith Formation for the Archdiocese of Detroit. She has been named as one who has made a significant contribution to religious education by the Talbot School of Theology.