Thursday, Nov. 5th 2020

Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

The parable of the Lost Sheep is appealing to us because we either see ourselves as the lost one, or we see it as a loved one who has strayed from his or her faith. In either case, it is a consolation to think of the great interest and concern with which the shepherd seeks out the lost one. What was initially cause for distress quickly becomes a time for rejoicing and celebration.

I think that if Jesus’ image was transported to present-day rural northwest Missouri and the farmland surrounding our monastery, it would be a question about straying cows. On a dangerously frigid and windy February day, I saw firsthand the care and concern one of our neighbors put into retrieving a newborn calf from the clutches of death’s cold grip. The farmer was keeping careful watch over his herd, he ran and scooped up the half-frozen newborn calf and carried it to the barn to warm it up. It wasn’t a sheep, but the message was the same: He didn’t want one of the little ones to be lost. Of course, losing a calf meant losing money, but I was struck by the dedication and personal commitment of braving the elements during the winter calving season, both day and night.

I wonder what it would be like if we all took our faith life with the same level of personal responsibility and commitment. When someone asks you to pray for them, do you take it seriously and follow through? How well do you encourage, seek out what is lost, and invite others into a relationship with Christ?

Our perspective and concern for others change when we first come to know seriously, in the depths of our hearts, how much God loves us and desires to be in relationship with us. Do you believe in God’s love for you? Do you know it in your heart, and not just in your mind? An encounter with God’s love will transform our lives—ask for that encounter.

Reflection Question: When was a time in your life when you were lost and Jesus went seeking after you?

Reflection by Fr. Paul Sheller, OSB

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