(Part 232)


December 12, 2017

Today’s readings:

Isaiah 40:1-11

Psalm 96:1-3,10-13

Matthew 18:12-14

A primary impetus for the New Evangelization is the bringing back of the lost sheep, those Catholics who have abandoned the faith or are not living out the fullness of faith. They are prey to the world, the flesh and the devil. Their eternal destiny is threatened. But “it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (Mt 18:14). God wants everyone to be saved.

Thus, if even just one of the 100 sheep is lost, God seeks to bring him/her back (Mt 18:12). This parable is about God’s mercy. When found, there is great rejoicing (Mt 18:13). But the reality in the world today is that not one but 99 of the 100 sheep are lost! Oh, how that grieves the heart of God. But Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks the lost and cares for them. “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs” (Is 40:11a).

Now in the call to the New Evangelization, Jesus has entrusted the work of bringing back the lost sheep to His disciples. They are to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Ps 96:2b). They are to be persistent and bold in proclaiming the good news of salvation in Jesus. “Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Cry out, do not fear! Say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God!” (Is 40:9b). When people hear this good news, by the grace of God they will believe, accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, and thus be saved.

The New Evangelization is for all. We are to “declare among the nations: The Lord is king.” (Ps 96:10a).

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