Posted by: RAM | June 2, 2016

Friday (June 3): ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’

Mabuhay at Mabuting Balita!
Month of the Sacred Heart

The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Friday in the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 172

First Reading: Ezekiel 34:11-16
Psalms 23:1-6:  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Second Reading: Romans 5:5-11
Gospel: Luke 15:3-7
Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes:
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.”

Reflection: Jesus’ heart of love and compassion is most clearly revealed in the way he sought out sinners and outcasts of society. No one was excluded from his gracious presence unless they chose to stay away out of jealousy or mistrust. The scribes and Pharisees took great offense at Jesus because he freely associated with sinners and treated them graciously. The Pharisees had strict regulations about how they were to keep away from sinners, lest they incur defilement. They were not to entrust money to them or have any business dealings with them, nor trust them with a secret, nor entrust orphans to their care, nor accompany them on a journey, nor give their daughter in marriage to any of their sons, nor invite them as guests or be their guests. They were shocked with the way in which Jesus freely received sinners and ate with them. Sinners, nonetheless, were drawn to Jesus to hear him speak about the mercy of God. Jesus characteristically answered the Pharisees’ charge with a parable or lesson drawn from everyday life.

What does Jesus’ story about a lost sheep tell us about God and his kingdom? Shepherds normally counted their sheep at the end of the day to make sure all were accounted for. Since sheep by their very nature are very social, an isolated sheep can quickly become bewildered and even neurotic. The shepherd’s grief and anxiety is turned to joy when he finds the lost sheep and restores it to the fold. The shepherd searches until what he has lost is found. His persistence pays off.  He instinctively shares his joy with the whole community. The poor are particularly good at sharing in one anothers’ sorrows and joys. What was new in Jesus’ teaching was the insistence that sinners must be sought out and not merely mourned for. God does not rejoice in the loss of anyone, but desires that all be saved and restored to fellowship with him. That is why the whole community of heaven rejoices when one sinner is found and restored to fellowship with God. Seekers of the lost are much needed today. Do you persistently pray and seek after those you know who have lost their way to God?

“Lord Jesus, let your light dispel the darkness that what is lost may be found and restored. Let your light shine through me that others may see your truth and love and find hope and peace in you. May I never doubt your love nor take for granted the mercy you have shown to me. Fill me with your transforming love that I may be merciful as you are merciful.” author Don Schwager © 2016 Servants of the Word

Saint of the Day: Saints Charles Lwanga and Companions (d. 1886)
One of 22 Ugandan martyrs, Charles Lwanga is the patron of youth and Catholic action in most of tropical Africa. He protected his fellow pages (aged 13 to 30) from the homosexual demands of the Bagandan ruler, Mwanga, and encouraged and instructed them in the Catholic faith during their imprisonment for refusing the ruler’s demands.

For his own unwillingness to submit to the immoral acts and his efforts to safeguard the faith of his friends, Charles was burned to death at Namugongo on June 3, 1886, by Mwanga’s order.

Charles first learned of Christ’s teachings from two retainers in the court of Chief Mawulugungu. While a catechumen, he entered the royal household as assistant to Joseph Mukaso, head of the court pages.

On the night of Mukaso’s martyrdom for encouraging the African youths to resist Mwanga, Charles requested and received Baptism. Imprisoned with his friends, Charles’s courage and belief in God inspired them to remain chaste and faithful.

When Pope Paul VI canonized these 22 martyrs on October 18, 1964, he referred to the Anglican pages martyred for the same reason.

More Saints of the Day
St. Abidianus
St. Achilleus Kewanuka
St. Adolphus Ludigo-Mkasa
St. Albert of Como
St. Ambrose Kibuka
St. Anatole Kiriggwajjo
St. Andrew Kagwa
St. Athanasius Badzekuketta
St. Bruno Seronkuma
St. Caecilius
St. Charles Lwanga and Companions
St. Conus
St. Cronan
St. Davinus
Bl. Diego Oddi
St. Dionysius Sebuggwao
St. Glushallaich
St. Gonzaga Gonza
St. Hilary
St. James Buzabalio
St. John Grande
St. John Maria Muzeyi
St. John Mary Mzec
St. John XXIII
St. Joseph Mukasa
St. Kevin
St. Kizito
St. Liphardus
St. Lucillian
St. Luke Banabakiutu
Martyrs of Uganda
St. Mathias Mulumba
St. Matthias Murumba
St. Mbaga Tuzinde
St. Morand
St. Mugagga
St. Mukasa Kiriwawanyu
St. Noe Mawaggali
St. Paula
St. Pergentinus and Laurentinus
St. Pontian Ngondwe
St. Quirinus

Let me be the change I want to be. Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark.  Follow Tweets by @TheOneKinEnt  @Pontifex @CardinalChito


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