Loving the lost sheep as we are

– Wednesday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time –

“[G]o rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [Matthew 10:6]

A large percentage of what we see in a day would be advertising: at the grocery store, on public transport, on social media. If I was to assign a common theme to advertising, it would be “you don’t have what you need to be a happy”. Through the kingdom of this world, we are bombarded by messages that tell us to change our fashion, deodorant brand, insurance, appearance, etc.

In today’s gospel, Jesus calls his disciples by name, with all their imperfections, and he gives them a mission without telling them to change who they are. They don’t need weeks of training or relevant past experience. There is no record in the gospel of them going through any ritual or signing any contract. I believe Jesus is calling us, like the twelve disciples, exactly as we are on a mission to evangelise those around us. This doesn’t mean Jesus ignores where we fall short. I once heard it said that God loves us exactly as we are, but too much to leave us this way. It is through being open to God’s will that God transforms us. In the meantime, there are many lost sheep he calls us to minister to. Indeed, we should minister to everyone: the people we think need it, those we think don’t need it, people who frustrate us, the lost sheep…

In my experience the lost sheep are the hardest to love. Those that are most different to me. In tomorrow’s gospel Jesus tells us we don’t need anything extra; all we need to love those who are most difficult to love is that which God gives us.

by Emma Fradd

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