Jesus said to his disciples, “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?”
So, what is your opinion? Is it worthwhile?
Amy was a sophomore in college when she made the toughest decision she has ever had to make. As soon as she realized that her best friend was addicted to cocaine, she decided to tell her friend’s parents. Nancy, after realizing who had told on her, went up to her best friend and told her, “You just ruined my life! Now my family will take away my horses, my apartment and make me move back home with them. You ruined my life!” Amy, looking at her best friend, told her, “I would not have been able to live my life if you had died and I had said nothing. I decided it would be better to have you angry with me than dead because of me!”
Yesterday on Fox News I read that very few teens are sexting. It turns out that only 1:10 teens sext. When I read that I nearly fell out of my seat! That’s good news? That’s “a few”? One out of ten is a few? Give me a break! That is not a few. This is far worse than one sheep out of one hundred getting lost! And when you think about it, sexting has only been around for ten years or so, which means that the problem will only get worse!
How stupid can we possibly be? How much lower must we lower the bar so that all of us can pass over it and appear, statistically speaking, of doing so much better!
Is Miley Cryus just a regular teen? After all, the former Disney star was talking about puffing illegal drugs last week, getting filmed smoking something out of a bong a few months ago, and seen dancing suggestively with a man twice her age. According to “parenting expert” Ellen Rittberg, the author of “35 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You So I Will”, it is what all teenagers do! So we should just leave her alone.
So now Miley Cryus, the multi-millionaire idol and wanna be to so many of our children, tweens and teens alike, is just a regular teenager! Parents are to fall in line like sheep to the so called parent expert and believe that this mega star Barbie doll look alike will have no influence on our children. In fact, Ellen expects her to grow out of her addictions, perversions and self-inflicting mutilations with the help of herself, like so many others do, right? The problem is, not all of them do! Not all of them get out. Some, actually will commit suicide or overdose or fall apart, or crumble to pieces. What then? Will Ellen Rittberg write it off as “Oh well, I guess I was wrong.”
One lost girl out of ten is not good enough. One lost sheep out of one hundred is not good enough. The Lord is not pleased with losing a single soul, not even a sheep, and neither should we as His followers. He directed this parable to his followers. We should all be listening.
Is there someone in your life who has gone astray? How easy it is to just write them off or to let them know that it is their problem and not yours. How easy it is to forget why two people ever became friends.
Today, I celebrated Mass at Ursuline Academy. All the kids were ready, with their cheat sheet in hand, to respond correctly to the revised Roman Missal. I said, “The Lord be with you.” They all responded, “And with your Spirit.” I was shocked to hear that they all responded correctly. But when it came to respond again, they messed up. The third time was even worse.
I told them, “You know what, friendships are like ‘And with your Spirit.’ You see, when we make a new friend, we are careful to be on our best behavior. We are very careful in what we say and do at the beginning. But with time, we begin to mess up and we can actually forget why we ever became friends. The Mass reminds us, like in all friendships, how patient, how loving and how forgiving the Lord is. He doesn’t mind that we mess up. What really bothers him is that we give up. Never give up on anyone. Never give up on a lost soul, no matter how poorly they may have treated you.”
A widow recently told me that her husband’s company will soon be renaming an award after him. “The best salesman of the year award” will soon be known as “The Richard Stanford award.” Richard died three months ago, leaving four beautiful children and a faithful wife. What makes this story so beautiful is that last year Richard deserved the Best Salesman Award and was not about to receive it. Politics you know. But this year, with his passing away, his boss decided to rename the award in honor of him.
Sometimes we don’t know what we have until it is gone. Sometimes the lost sheep is not lost but has gone home ahead of the rest.