This reflection was taken from the Daily Mass Readings of Nov. 7, 2013:
Jesus once said–forgive me, I don’t remember the exact wording–that a doctor wouldn’t come to heal a person who wasn’t sick. Likewise, Jesus came to call sinners; like a doctor, he came to heal the ones who needed healing.
If a doctor–who didn’t have dollar signs in his eyes–had ten clients, and nine of them were healthy, he’d be happy about that, right? Yes, he would be happy that those people were healthy. However, his job is to help the sick. If his tenth client comes down with a deadly disease, and this doctor manages to cure that disease, imagine how happy the doctor would be that he was able to help that person back to health (which partly explains why I want to be a veterinarian). He’d obviously still be happy about the other nine clients–he’s not going to forget them–but he would be downright joyful that his tenth was going to be okay.
In his parable in today’s Gospel, Jesus isn’t trying to say that the people who are already righteous are going to be overlooked or underappreciated. Not that anyone deserves his appreciation anyway, but the point is that he won’t forget them. Those who are on their way to the hell, however, and later turn around and accept the Lord as their own, give Jesus a joy that could have no equal–the joy of having those people come to him.
We are called to do the same thing that Jesus came to do: preach the Good News, and call sinners to repentance. He is our shepherd; his sheep are our brothers. Should we not strive to do what is best for them, and teach them of our Lord?
Jesus loves us more than we could possibly love anything or anyone; if we really love him in return, shouldn’t we do what he asks of us, even if it isn’t the easiest option? Being a Christian doesn’t just mean saying that we believe in Jesus; it also means showing that we believe in him through our actions. If we don’t try our best to let our actions reflect the will of Christ, how can we really attempt to call ourselves followers of Christ?
Also, if we do choose to try and call our friends, family, etc., to repentance, we mustn’t forget that we ourselves are sinners, too–even if we profess to love Jesus, and even if we try our best to let that love reflect in our actions. We still fail him, time and time again. We can’t hope to be worthy of being in his presence for eternity; but through true repentance and his divine mercy, he can and will allow us to have what we don’t deserve, which is to live with him in his Kingdom of Heaven forever.
“I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”–taken from “Amazing Grace.” I scoured my Bible, and my mom’s Kindle Bible, for that line for several minutes–I must have skimmed through most of the Book of Psalms–only to go online and find out that the song was written by an Anglican priest named John Newton. It’s not a Psalm at all. And here I thought I was such a scriptural know-it-all.
by Cameron Daly