Mt 18:12-14 Go, Search and Sin No More
I say, “What shall I search for?”
A voice answers, “For the lost sheep.”
I say, “But they left on their own accord.”
A voice answers, “Go and search.”
Today’s psalm is beautiful: “The Lord our God comes with power.” (Is 40:10ab) What is the power of the Lord? It is his Almighty and everlasting Love – his unconditional ability to forgive and give. The Lord manifests his great power by reaching out to us; or better, coming down to us - his lost sheep. He does not go out of his way to search for us; this is His Way. Nothing hinders The Lord. He has no pride, no vanity. His self-righteousness and Holiness are not sinful but awful (full of awe). Nothing hinders Him because He has no sin. But there is plenty that hinders us. Our sins impede us from reaching our greatest desire.
Go and sin no more. As the Father sent me, so I send you. Go and do what I have done: heal the wounded, cure the sick, love the sinner.
The Lord is mighty; he could crush us into dust. The weight of his glory could judge the ends of the earth, leaving not a single living creature along his path. And yet, he refuses to be mastered by his own righteousness. He prefers to speak to the sinner; to dine with them. He prefers to bend his knee and lift his hand at the sight of those who suffer due to their own sinfulness. The Lord touches the filthy and keeps the just at bay. The Lord knows how to forgive because he knows how to love. No greater love than this: to lay down your life for a friend. He calls me friend.
Advent is a time of observation: to observe all things. It is a time of journey: to make the first steps and follow the star. Now is the time to give to the Lord what he wants most this Christmas: YOUR HEART! He wants it so that he can do great things with it. Give it to him. Offer the Lord your heart. Give it to him from now till Christmas (Forever). Ask the Lord what your greatest sin is and allow the Lord to remove it once and for all. Sin is a belt that tightens the heart – restricts the heart. Remove the belt. Allow the blood to flow in all directions. Give to the Lord what he desires most. He does not want your brains. The incarnation makes no sense. T'is the season for your heart.
Yesterday at Mass I commented on a woman that spent the last 18 months trying to repair a broken relationship. She succeeded. It took a lot of time, sweat and maybe even some tears. But in the end, she succeeded. I am sure The Lord assisted her in many ways, but I am most sure he inspired her to not give up. Sacrifices were made, prayers were offered up. But the one thing she did not do is stop short on her journey. This is too hard. It is just too much. It was too long ago. He is too far away.
In the parable of the Lost Sheep, we do not know how far it had strayed and for how long the Shepherd had searched. Since the Lord does not tell us, I must assume it is not necessary or part of the formula for success (He does make reference to forgiving seven times seventy times. Maybe that answers our question). But he does tell us of the tremendous joy that is felt once the lost creature is found.
The Lord never gives up on anyone. "As the Father sent me, so I send you."
Go, search and sin no more.