The Prodigal Shepherd

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday In The Second Week Of Advent

Matthew 18:12-14

We have heard this Gospel and also possibly read it, many times. And possibly we are used to this Gospel, and do not wait to marvel at the strange way, how it is not in sync with worldly standards, for Jesus portrays God the Father according to who He Is… We humans tend to value what wealth we have in our hands and are extra cautious when trying to get that extra wealth. As the saying goes, ‘a bird in hand is worth two in the bush’. This is human wisdom, which speaks that in the selfish action of getting more, we may loose what we have. So how do we understand God’s act of going after that one sinner and not worrying about the other nighty-nine. I would say, ‘Free Will’.

Though God draws us closer to himself and teaches us to listen and follow His voice, he always is doing this with giving us a choice to remain in Him or apart from Him. He can never trample over the Gift of Choice and Self-determination he has given us. Even that One sheep who has gone astray was part of the Flock that followed the Shepherd, but it exercised the choice to go away from the Shepherd, just like the Prodigal Son. But God the Good Shepherd is equally extravagant with the way he deals with us. Though we may choose ourselves over trusting God, He follows us everywhere, patiently, abiding his time. He knows eventually we will understand the negative value of our decision, and then He will be ready to wrap us in His, if we should welcome His presence in our life again.

Then He will put us on His shoulders and rejoice, not side-lining the other ninety-nine, but he knows they too know the value of the rejoicing, because they too like the lost sheep, once upon a time were lost, but now abiding in God’s Love.

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