December 6, 2022

Matthew 18:12-14

The Gospel today is rather short. But very profound. It tells about God who wills that “not one of these little ones be lost.” It assures us of the infinite love that God has for us and that he is always looking for us no matter how far we turn away from him.

We have read and heard this Gospel many times already. It already seems so ordinary to be moved by it. Besides, it is not really difficult to imagine a man losing one sheep and searching for it even if it means leaving behind the ninety-nine that are intact. That is very normal. Every well-meaning shepherd will do that.

How about if we concretize that into real life situation? Take, for instance, the case of persons who have gone stray into drugs, alcohol, gambling and all kinds of vices. Do they still move us to leave behind our comfort zones in order to help them get back to normal life? We do not hear this kind heroism that often.

Or Are we still moved to leave behind the ninety-nine in search of a friend who has gone astray by assuming an office of leadership that drowned him to commit social injustices, graft and corruption? This may even sound weird today, unlike it was during the time of John the Baptist who would proclaim the message of repentance to the faces of political leaders even at the cost of his life.

Or Do we also search for the lost and least among the poor and those living in the peripheries? Perhaps, doing charity work or being compassionate with the poor and the suffering is the contemporary way of looking for the lost and rejoicing when they are brought back to experiencing a provident Christ in the hands of generous Christians.

It is consoling to imagine how persistent God is but how humbling is the thought that He rejoices over the one that was lost and then found. Indeed, every single person matters and is loved infinitely in the eyes of God.

Reflection guide

1. Recall instances when you felt you were “lost” but realized that Jesus has been looking for you.
2. Think of opportunities where you can live the image of God in you by seeking your brothers and sisters who seem to be “lost”.

Most Rev. Crispin B. Varquez, D.D.
Bishop of Borongan