Gospel: Mt 18:12-14
What do you think of this? If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, won‘t he leave the ninety-nine on the hillside, and go to look for the stray one? And I tell you, when he finally finds it, he is more pleased about it, than about the ninety-nine that did not go astray. It is the same with your Father in heaven. Your Father in heaven doesn‘t want even one of these little ones to perish.
The theme of today‘s gospel reading is God‘s passionate love for humanity. This same parable is told dramatically in Luke 15:4-32 together with two others; the Lost Drachma and the Prodigal Son. Authors and some theologians call the three parables the summary of the whole Bible, especially the New Testament. Our God is a tremendous lover and he loves each one of us as though we are the only ones existing in this planet.
Since every person is a unique individual, God loves him/her with utmost patience. The analogy of a person to that of a sheep is very proper. A person goes astray for the simplest of reasons, to satisfy his curiosity, pride, power or pleasure. So too, is a sheep, easily fooled! God actively works for man‘s return every time he goes astray. He will seek him by varied means and signs to convince him to return to the fold. God rejoices when He finds the lost one. He will protect him from going astray again. May the picture of a good and happy Shepherd with the lost sheep on His shoulder, encourage us to love Him in return and rejoice with God.