Daily Gospel Reflection for December 10, 2019

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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.

Ponder:

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?

Pray:

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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About Author

Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for reminding me that, even in my old age, God STILL Loves me in the SAME ‘fiercely protective’ way that we, human mothers felt when our own young children ‘strayed’ and were ‘lost’ (even for a short while)! May God bless you for this timely reminder!

  2. Jacqueline McNeil on

    One of my favorite and daily “go to” passages in Scripture, Claire. And I’ve never visualized my Shepherd as a cartoon-like figure, but rather a strong, alert, protective and caring Shepherd with a Voice His sheep recognize amidst all the other shepherds calling their folds! Similarly, when distracted with shopping in a huge department store and you suddenly don’t see your child, (I can only imagine the distress!) you possibly call out to the child who might have wandered into the next aisle. And that child, knowing your voice, hopefully comes running to you. My prayer as one of His sheep is that should I ever stray from Him even in the smallest way, I will ever hear His Voice among all the other distracting ones and come running back to Him. Thanks, as always, Claire, for your inspiring reflections that give me pause to reflect.

    • The way you describe our Shepherd’s voice calling us back is beautiful, Jackie! I especially value the part about us needing to recognize it, despite the other distracting voices that vie for our attention. Thank you for this gem!

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