HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF ADVENT.
THEME: WITH GOD, NOTHING IS LOST.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
‘So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.’
The parable of the Lost Sheep (Matt 18:12-14) is one of the best parables that explain the God-man relationship. We can’t exhaust our reflection on it.Well, the point of the parable is obvious. The parable hits home in a number of unexpected ways. Specifically, what does this parable say about the nature of God; what does it say about us; and what does it say about our relationship with each other?
First, the parable strikes at the heart of our value system and confronts us with the magnitude of God’s infinite mercy, forgiveness and love. Listen once more. Jesus placed a huge value on relationship with God.
The Bible uses different metaphors to highlight the kind of relationship God desires to have with people. God is a Father and He wants us to be His children. This metaphor illustrates God’s care and regard for us as communal beings. God wants a family and we need a family. The parable teaches that even when one person is missing from God’s family it is extremely important to Him.
All kinds of people wanted to hear Jesus. His audience had a noticeable faction-the tax collectors and ”sinners”, Pharisees and religious folks; the riffraff; fallen women. The Pharisee’s problem with Jesus was: ”Why are the dregs of society and irreligious people attracted to You and You are welcoming of them?” The flawed thinking of the Pharisees was: Unholy people are not attracted to people who are truly holy. And, holy people do not engage socially with unholy people. Jesus then cannot be holy. He must be a fraud! This judgmental thoughts are still common among us.
The reason for this parable was a singular one: Jesus wanted to explain to His critics why ”the dregs of society” and the irreligious were attracted to Him and He welcomed them.
So often, we give up too easily. When others fall through the cracks, we are quick to write people off: “You can’t win them all.”. Not so in the Kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is like a good shepherd who has a flock of a hundred sheep who, losing just one of them, will leave the others and go after the one that is lost until he finds it and brings it back to the fold. With God, nothing is lost. That is the first point, and the second is this: With God, we live in community with each other, so that to talk about being lost is really to talk about being separated from each other. In other words, the sheep was lost because it was part of the flock to begin with.
The very fact that it belonged to the flock led to the fact that, when the shepherd counted heads, it was obvious one was missing. Being lost has to do with our connection to each other. We are interrelated. So that to talk about one who is lost is, at the same time, to talk about the effect one who is lost has on the others. Like the man who said, in the wake of his wife’s death, “It’s not only that I have lost her, but that I am lost without her.” This is a correlation I have come to appreciate more and more over the years: The more intimately we are connected to another person, the more we agonize when we are separated; the less we are connected, the less we are affected.
RELATED: HOMILY FOR TUESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK OF ADVENT
This is the essence of the Kingdom of God; we are family, that is, brothers and sisters in Christ, joined by our common allegiance to Him. And because we belong to the body of Christ, when only one is missing, something about us is missing, as well.
We are lost people in different ways. Some are lost due to fear. Some are lost due to hurt, injury and pain. Some are lost due to an incorrect image of God. But the common denominator among lost people is that they need help to be found. Note: A stray sheep usually lies down helplessly, and will not move, stand up or run. It becomes immobile.
We must be eager to face the challenge of searching for lost ones among us. We all need to be found. We are all valuable no matter what the society says! Let us look around to identify and engage our lost friends and relatives.
The search must include people we know; co-workers, neighbours, and friends-in our search radius.
We have to talk to people who we want to know-people we meet in our daily business and social circles. If we make heaven alone, heaven will be boring. God’s desire is all-inclusive. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God bless us all, May His grace never fail us, and May His protection be assured in our lives through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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