Faith Daily | 7 December 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - Advent Two APBA p466
who sent your messenger John the Baptist
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
give us grace to heed his warning and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with joy the coming of our Redeemer,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 18: 12-14
12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Peta Anne Warwick
I have lost many “things” but one that relates to my attitude in contrast to the attitude of others occurred when I was 13. My family – 2 parents, 3 kids, 4 dogs and a cat - relocated to Fort Victoria (guess where?). My parents could not sell their house (war time is not a good time to invest) so we moved into what had been the old post office located next to the junior school girls’ boarding house. As it was school holidays, the boarding house was locked up and surrounded by high fences, locked gates and barbed wire (this is Africa!).
So, the cat was mine and no-one else in the family particularly liked my strange little cat. It was the runt of the litter, and as a kitten it developed a funny habit of going to sleep sucking the end of its tail (shame, it didn’t have a thumb!). The sound drove everyone nuts but I found it adorable and it became a reassuring sound to fall asleep to. Luath (named after one of the characters from my favourite book “The Incredible Journey”) escaped the confines of the house and bolted. For 3 days I looked for her. Did I pay attention to the other pets other than to cry into their coats? No, not really. They were safe, they were obedient (dogs) and did what they were told. Did anyone else stress about my lost cat? No, no really. But I was beside myself!
One night I happened to be asked to close the gate after my father arrived home from work. I heard a strange sound coming from the boarding house. I listened for a while and then called my father. He dismissed the sound as a bat or bird. True, my cat was part Siamese and did have the most unfortunate meow. The next night I heard the same sounds. By day 3, the meows were more pathetic but when I shouted Luath’s name, there was a response. I finally got my busy parents to take me seriously; and used the argument that, whatever was trapped needed to be released. Being new in town, and in the school holidays, it was not an easy undertaking to find someone with keys to unlock the boarding house. But they did, and the noise had been from my cat – a very thin little thing was rescued about a week after it first went missing. Did I rejoice!!
I was just a kid who refused to give up on my lost pet and my parents, perhaps like modern society, focussed on the busyness of life and with the “99” well behaved conformist sheep. How reassuring it is to know that God is always looking for us, no matter how far we turn away. And for us, it tells us that no matter how far away from God we feel ourselves to be, or how difficult things may get for us, we only have to turn to God and he will look after us.
Jesus is telling us that every life is precious in his eyes. Jesus turns conventional attitudes upside down: “the little ones, the people who the world does not rate as important, are the most precious of all” (www.sacredspace.ie).
FINAL PRAYER: http://jesuitprayer.org (Dec 10, 2013): Matthew 18: 12-14
Lord, it’s almost too much to comprehend – you seek us! Regardless of the number of times we have fallen short, nonetheless, pursue us. Though such personal love sometimes seems too good to be true, we embrace your divine fidelity. We seek your voice in the ordinary exchanges of the day. We will look with great anticipation upon the wonderful ways you will connect with our lives. We simply need to believe and never underestimate your constancy.