Today’s Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
“In just the same way, it is not the will of your Heavenly Father that one of these little ones get lost.”
We all feel warm and fuzzy when we reflect on the story of the lost sheep and the shepherd who won’t rest until he finds it. We imagine a cartoon-like shepherd, with a big smile on his face, hugging his fluffy, white sheep.
It isn’t until we lose our own child in a shopping center that raw, hard emotions enter the picture. Nothing can describe the fear clawing at our insides as we frantically race around, taking shallow breaths for a heart that’s pounding in our chest and ears. With a voice bordering on hysteria, we beg for help, as our mind races ahead to all the horrors that could befall our innocent, little one.
In the same way, no words can describe the knee-buckling relief we feel when we finally spot our child. Suddenly, the emotions we’ve been trying to tamp down break free. We hug our child with such a fierceness of love, we almost hurt them. We can’t seem to form words, and our vision is blurred by the tears that spill over and gush down our cheeks. It takes a full hour for our heart to resume a normal beat, and we keep reaching out to touch our child, just to confirm they’re safe and back in our care.
Perhaps this extreme myriad of emotions is closer to how God really feels when one of us is lost and then found, not the flat, cutesy emotion of the cartoon shepherd. God’s love for us is fierce and unflagging, and just as extreme for every single one of the billions of us He created in this world.
Do I recognize that God loves me as fiercely as I love my children? Do I also realize He aches when I’m lost, just as much as I do when I think I’ve lost my child?
Ever loving Shepherd, thank You for for loving me so fiercely, for never giving up searching for me when I stray.
Copyright 2019 Claire McGarry
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