LOST AND FOUND
The gospel at Mass on Tuesday last was about the shepherd with one hundred sheep, losing one and searching for it until he found it. The image presented was of a man, happy with the find and pleased to restore the sheep to the flock. It is said that the shepherd can identify each sheep – the Lord would say, by name and Pope Francis often reminds bishops and priests that they should know “the smell of the sheep” – in other words, know their people. There is something important being said in that; something about knowing the lives of the people among whom we live.
In thinking about that gospel I had an image of a field filled with things and people that are important to us. Maybe family, health, friendship, love, faith, peace, joy, strength and so much more. Imagine something going missing from that field. For example friendship with someone. The shepherd in all of us is asked to leave the field and search for what is missing. This may well mean leaving the other gifts behind in the field so that the searching may be done. It is a necessary search and one that we must be willing to spend time at.
When the finding takes place – we can return to the field, in the sure knowledge that the flock is once again complete.
We will have every reason to rejoice and be grateful.