“Am I a Black Sheep?!” – Lk 15:1-7†


My oldest son is on his way to Springfield Missouri for a Jazz Band competition.  He loves to play the trumpet, and has found his love, and future, in music.  I am proud of him, and his ability with that “horn.”  But, then again, I am proud of all my boys for their various abilities.  God did me good with them!   
 

Wrangling and herding of sheep is the reason for reflection on the days blog.

Jesus and His Sheep

Quote or Joke of the Day:

 

“When you handle yourself, use your head; when you handle others, use your heart.” – Donna Reed

 

Today’s Meditation:

 

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  So to them he addressed this parable.  “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.  (NAB Lk 15:1-7)

 

A parable that I love, and is probably one of the first I ever remember as a young child.  The church officials, in seeing Jesus eating with people deemed “unclean” are insulted, since Jesus is looked upon by many as a teacher of the Jewish faith.  At the time of Jesus, one did not mingle with the unclean, and the general population, much less much the “upper crust” of Jewish society.  Jesus knows that His (and thus God’s) mercy breaks through all human restrictions. 

There is a theme of joy in today’s gospel reading.  Finding the wayward of faith, and then bringing them back to the fold, makes for joy.  Our conversion; our finding of the truth through Jesus, and living in His fold on a daily basis, is required for finding total joy.  Eternal happiness in sharing Gods own joy, and we are all called to participate in His joy from, and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The parable of the lost sheep illustrated Jesus’ particular concern for the lost,  and  of God’s love for the repentant sinner.  

Who are these prodigal children of God.  They are ones that are suffering from addiction, alcoholism, pornography, having affairs, and stealing, to just name a few.  God desires our return to him even more than we desire of our children and loved ones return from the depths of sin.  All can return without any mention of the past, and all can be forgiven for any sin.  He is standing right there next to us right now.  All we have to do is turn, and walk into His open arms. 

“Lord, please welcome me and all Your children home in the paradise of Heaven.  Especially welcome cheerfully all Your prodigal and wayward children, as a loving Father only can.  Amen.”

 

Pax et Bonum

Dan Halley, SFO

 

*****

 

Franciscan Saint of the Day:  St. Colette

 

Colette was the daughter of a carpenter named DeBoilet at Corby Abbey in Picardy, France.  She was born on January 13, christened Nicolette, and called Colette.  Orphaned at age seventeen, she distributed her inheritance to the poor.  She became a Franciscan tertiary, and lived at Corby as a solitary.  She soon became well known for her holiness and spiritual wisdom, but left her cell in 1406 in response to a dream directing her to reform the Poor Clares.  She received the Poor Clares habit from Peter de Luna, whom the French recognized as Pope under the name of Benedict XIII, with orders to reform the Order and appointing her Superior of all convents she reformed.  Despite great opposition, she persisted in her efforts.  She founded seventeen convents with the reformed rule and reformed several older convents.  She was renowned for her sanctity, ecstasies, and visions of the Passion; and prophesied her own death in her convent at Ghent, Belgium.  A branch of the Poor Clares is still known as the Collettines.  She was canonized in 1807.  Her feast day is March 6th.

 (From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)

 

Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #7:

 

They have been made living members of the Church by being buried and raised with Christ in baptism; they have been united more intimately with the Church by profession. Therefore, they should go forth as witnesses and instruments of her mission among all people, proclaiming Christ by their life and words.   Called like Saint Francis to rebuild the Church and inspired by his example, let them devote themselves energetically to living in full communion with the pope, bishops, and priests, fostering an open and trusting dialog of apostolic effectiveness and creativity.

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