We’ve all been lost before, haven’t we? When we’re lost, it is not a very good feeling. I remember a couple of times I was walking to one of the villages I had to visit in the jungle as a missionary, thinking I had made a wrong turn or didn’t know where I was going. I was terrified. I didn’t know how I would find my way back, I didn’t know who would help me. Luckily, I always seemed to find my way back, or always found someone to give me directions.
Today, we hear Jesus telling the parable of the lost sheep. How if only one of a flock of 100 sheep is lost, the good shepherd will find him and bring him back. Jesus is that good shepherd for us. No matter how lost we feel, Jesus is there ready to carry us on his shoulders, to help us in our time of need.
The tax collectors and sinners in today’s Gospel were the people who were considered lost in Jesus’ society. The teachers of God’s law didn’t even think Jesus should be eating with them. But Jesus tells them that God’s kingdom is for everyone, that he is there especially to bring those who are lost into God’s kingdom.
Jesus as the good shepherd is a great example for all of us. It is up to us to gather the lost sheep to the kingdom, to do the work of the shepherd while we are here on our journey on earth. May the Lord lead us and guide us to do his work.