Friday, June 3, 2016

Reflection: Luke 15:3-7

The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Solemnity - Luke 15:3-7 

On this Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the gospel reading is the parable of the shepherd and his sheep.  In the time of Jesus, the shepherd and sheep had a very personal relationship.  Since the shepherd spent all his time with the sheep, he came to know each of the animals well.  Animals have differing personalities and preferences just as we human beings do.   Sheep, however, are animals that do not have much common sense.  That does not make them stupid animals; however, they feel safer and more comfortable when they are part of a flock of sheep.  Being part of the flock gives the sheep a sense of safety and comfort as well as companionship.  Sheep are born with an innate need to be part of a group and have a following instinct.  

Most human beings also have a need to be part of a group.  This does not mean that we don’t have our preferences as well as a need to for “alone time,” but most human beings basically are social in nature.  Most human beings, at various times in their lives, live with other people.  It may be their family members, a friend, a college roommate, or someone to help with the expenses of an apartment or house.  Thus, in some aspects, we human beings are very similar to sheep.  I suspect that many, if not most human beings experience a sense of safety, comfort, and peace when we are with caring human beings.  

Despite our need to be social, at times we need to be alone.  We need time and space to be by ourselves.  At other times, we may stray from our flock (family, friends, church) deliberately or perhaps we gradually distance from our flock.  Over time, we may come to realize that we truly have lost our way.

Take a moment and remember a time in your life when you were lost.  It may have been a time when you lost your sense of self, place, belonging, or direction.  Today, take time and ask yourself: How am I lost in my life today?  Have I strayed from God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit?  Have I strayed from my family and friends?  Am I lost and alone?  Then take yourself and your sacred heart and entrust your whole being to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  If you need to be carried, Jesus will carry you.  If you are rejoicing, Jesus will rejoice with you.  For what more could we ask?

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