Israel's son Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers. He had risen to a position of great power with Pharaoh, unbeknownst to his brothers. Now his brothers had to come to him (unbeknownst to them) for food.
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the Twelve. He starts with this: "Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The first mission of the Twelve was to preach the gospel to their own - those who had fallen away.
"Former" Catholics or lapsed Catholics or fallen away Catholics comprise one of the largest religious groups in the world. Some go off to other churches; many go nowhere. Our hearts - and our evangelization efforts - must go out to them. I'll bet you have one in your family or in your life. I hope you'll have the boldness to reach out to them. This can be as simple as inviting them back to Mass. You never know how God will work in that situation.
Father, give us the love and the boldness to reach out to the lost sheep of our own faith. Help us to draw them back to you and Christ's Church. Amen.
Many of the fallen away have questions about Church teaching. Help them get answers in a minute with A Minute in the Church at www.GusLloyd.com.