Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
What do you think of this? If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, won’t he leave the ninety­ nine on the hillside, and go to look for the stray one? And I tell you, when he finally finds it, he is more pleased about it, than about the ninety­nine that did not go astray. It is the same with your Father in heaven. Your Father in heaven doesn’t want even one of these little ones to perish.

“Your Father in heaven doesn’t want even one of these little ones to perish.”
God is a God of comfort and of all consolations! This is the Good News that prophet Isaiah pro­claims today. He would come to make straight in the wasteland a highway for the Lord so that who­ever would come to follow him would never get lost. And if one goes astray, it would be easy for him to notice it and take him back to the fold.
This is the fulfillment of today’s Gospel. Jesus speaks the parable of the shepherd who has lost just one sheep out of one hundred. He leaves all the ninety ­nine and goes in search of the stray. And, when he finds it, he brings it back. He was happier over this lost sheep than the ninety­ nine who never wandered away. Indeed, God counts on every one of us. He loves us unconditionally and is not only ready to have us back in the fold but is positively overjoyed about it. Christmas season is an oppor­ tune time for us all to reflect our own way of tending and shep­herding those whoever is entrus­ted to us. Am I fulfilling the mission of a good shepherd, just as Jesus did?
This is the message of Christ­mas: Be a good shepherd and companion to others. Accompany those in need of your presence. Lead them to Jesus. Enjoy the com­pany of Jesus. Amen.

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