(Part 105)


December 9, 2014

Today’s readings:

Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm 96:1-13

Matthew 18:12-14

We are the sheep of God’s flock. How does God treat us? “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, leading the ewes with care.” (Is 40:11). What happens if we stray, as most Christians have strayed? “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” (Mt 18:12). If that is what a human shepherd would do, how much more the Good Shepherd? Indeed, “it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Mt 18:14). And how much more if the lost is not the one but the 99?!

Thus we are called to the New Evangelization. We are to proclaim the gospel. “A voice says, ‘Proclaim!’” (Is 40:6a). We are to proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus far and wide, and shout it from the rooftops. This great news ought to be heard by all. “Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of good news! Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news!” (Is 40:9a-b). We are to present the Savior of the world to the world. “Say to the cities of Judah: here is your God!” (Is 40:9d). “Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.” (Ps 96:3).

We are to be persistent and insistent in this work of evangelization. We are to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Ps 96:2b). We are to “declare among the nations: The Lord is king.” (Ps 96:10a). We must work so that the world meets and knows Christ, that peoples accept him as Savior, and that all come to worship him as Lord. Let all the nations “bow down to the Lord, splendid in holiness. Tremble before him, all the earth” (Ps 96:9).

Only then can everyone rejoice. Let the people who are saved rejoice. Let nature rejoice. “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; let the sea and what fills it resound; let the plains be joyful and all that is in them. Then let all the trees of the forest rejoice” (Ps 96:11-12a). Let the angels and saints in heaven rejoice. But most of all, let God rejoice. “And if he finds (the lost sheep), amen, I say to you, he rejoices” (Mt 18:13a).

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