In the first reading today from Philippians 3, St. Paul says that if anyone had a right to boast because of his pedigree, it was him. But all of his upbringing and righteousness meant nothing. “But whatever gains I had, these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.” In the Gospel reading from Luke 15, some Pharisees and scribes complain that Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus then tells them a parable of a man who has a hundred sheep. One goes astray. And the man leaves the ninety-nine behind to go look for that one lost sheep. Now, that doesn’t seem like very good business practice, does it? I mean, if you’re playing the odds, you would stay and watch over the ninety-nine, right? You wouldn’t go off and possibly allow wolves or thieves to jeopardize your flock. Better to just write off that one stray sheep.
But that’s not how God operates. Our odds are not God’s odds. He will never, NEVER write off the one who strays. He will drop everything and go after the one who strays; constantly calling them by name. No matter how far away that sheep has strayed, God will go to the ends of the earth to bring them back into the fold. Oh, and did we mention that you are that stray sheep?
Father, thank you for always looking after us. And for constantly calling us back when we stray. Help us to find those other lost sheep today. Amen.