Dear Friends in Christ
The liturgy of this Sunday calls to mind once again the limitless mercy of God: a God who forgives and takes delight in finding and bringing home the lost sheep. We see in the First Reading how Moses interceded with God on behalf of the Chosen People. They had strayed from the Covenant even while Moses was conversing with God on the top of Mount Sinai. Moses makes no attempt to excuse the people’s sin. He relies instead on the ancient promise of God and His great mercy. Many centuries later St Paul was to experience this in his own life, which he describes to Timothy in the words of the Second Reading: I myself am the greatest of sinners: and if this mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people… The Gospel account of the lost sheep reminds us that each one of us is that sheep, and how Jesus would go - and goes - in search of each one of us in order to bring us back to the fold.
St Clement of Alexandria has written about this in a moving way: God’s great love for humanity is similar to the care shown by the mother-bird for the chick that has fallen from the nest. If a serpent should threaten to devour the little creature, she hovers over it, spreading her wings to protect it. This is how God perpetually seeks out His fallen creature curing him from his lapse, warding off the savage beast that would attack him and recovering His own. God beckons the soul to fly once again and return to the nest. If God is so good to look-out for us, what more can we ask? We only have to take that one small step towards Him and He comes all of the distance towards us.
God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale