LETTING OURSELVES BE FOUND & CARRIED
(Wednesday, November 15)
“Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, ‘This Man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So He spoke this parable to them, saying: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing…’” (Lk 15: 1-5)
Let’s note that today’s Gospel-reading (on the first day of NC-Nativity Fast) begins with “the sinners” simply *drawing near* to Christ, *to hear Him*. This already scandalizes the Pharisees and scribes, who complain here that this Man not only “receives” those they despise, allowing them to draw near, but is also known to “eat with them.” Our Lord responds with the Parable of the Lost Sheep, which describes what actually happens, when we sinners let ourselves “draw near to Him to hear Him.” It is *He* who has been looking for us, and when we let ourselves be “found,” He lays us on His shoulders and carries us home. I think this part, the carrying us home part, continues throughout our lives.
Let me let myself be “found” this fasting season, in a little bit of heartfelt prayer from my waking moment. And let me sprinkle a bit of prayer throughout my day, saying: “Here I am, Lord! Save me!” He is near, looking for me all the time, whenever I wander off to do my own thing. This morning let us all draw near to Him, and let ourselves be carried through the Nativity Fast, participating in it as we can and as we are; the “sinners” whom Christ receives and with whom He eats. Thank You, Lord, for being You, and please carry us through our responsibilities, conversations, joys and challenges, today.