Get our FREE JesuitPrayer App.
Apple  Android 

December 10, 2013

Matthew 18: 12-14

What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Loving the Lost

The First Week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola offers us an opportunity to reflect on sin in our own lives and in the world. Like the lost sheep, however, we are not left on our own to despair of our sinfulness. God loves us. When I would hear today’s Gospel as a child, I remember thinking that it didn’t make any sense for a shepherd to leave 99 well-behaved and cooperative sheep in order to search for one that had wandered away. Even from this suburban girl’s minimal knowledge of farm animals, it seemed to me that the 99 were more likely to get themselves into trouble without the shepherd there to watch them. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve come to a greater understanding of what Jesus is saying to us.  Rather than thinking of myself as one of the 99, I realize that I am–as we all are–a sinner.  I am the lost sheep.

In spite of our sinfulness, and seeks us out when we have wandered away. This love is not a passive love where God waits for us to see the error of our ways and come back to him. Rather, God, like the shepherd, actively seeks us out when we wander, forgives us, and invites us into a deeper relationship with him.

One of the meditations in the First Week invites us to imagine that we are praying to Jesus on the cross. During this time, we ask ourselves:

  • What have I done for Christ?

  • What am I doing for Christ?

  • What ought I do for Christ?

As we enter more deeply into this season of Advent, I find myself drawn to the image of the infant Jesus. I imagine myself sitting and rocking Mary’s baby, just as I have spent so many hours rocking with my own children. As I look down into the face of baby Jesus, embodying peace, hope and promise, I ask myself:

  • What have I done for the infant Jesus?

  • What am I doing for the infant Jesus?

  • What ought I do for the infant Jesus?

—Lauren Gaffey is Director of Programs and Administration at Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org

Prayer

Lord, it’s almost too much to comprehend – you seek us! Regardless of the number of times we have fallen short, you, nonetheless, pursue us. Though such personal love sometimes seems too good to be true, we embrace your divine fidelity. We will seek your voice in the ordinary exchanges of the day. We will look with great anticipation upon the wonderful ways you will connect with our lives. We simply need to believe and never underestimate your constancy.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

My Candles

candle

Jesuit Prayer is pleased to offer candles for special occasions such as “Remembrance, joys, sorrows, anniversaries, and special intentions.” Proceeds help keep Jesuit Prayer free for all users.

REGISTER your free account to get started, and you'll get a free 30 days candle just for signing up.

LOGIN to access your candles

CLICK HERE for help with candles

Light up the World

(Click map to see more)

Welcome to JesuitPrayer.org

Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

(more about this site)



    Visit our
Social Media
   

Submit a Prayer Request

Archives

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
     12
17181920212223
24252627282930
       
     12
       
      1
23242526272829
30      
   1234
       
    123
25262728   
       
   1234
262728    
       
       
       
      1
       
     12
       
     12
3456789
10111213141516
       

December 10, 2013

Matthew 18: 12-14

What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Loving the Lost

The First Week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola offers us an opportunity to reflect on sin in our own lives and in the world. Like the lost sheep, however, we are not left on our own to despair of our sinfulness. God loves us. When I would hear today’s Gospel as a child, I remember thinking that it didn’t make any sense for a shepherd to leave 99 well-behaved and cooperative sheep in order to search for one that had wandered away. Even from this suburban girl’s minimal knowledge of farm animals, it seemed to me that the 99 were more likely to get themselves into trouble without the shepherd there to watch them. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve come to a greater understanding of what Jesus is saying to us.  Rather than thinking of myself as one of the 99, I realize that I am–as we all are–a sinner.  I am the lost sheep.

In spite of our sinfulness, and seeks us out when we have wandered away. This love is not a passive love where God waits for us to see the error of our ways and come back to him. Rather, God, like the shepherd, actively seeks us out when we wander, forgives us, and invites us into a deeper relationship with him.

One of the meditations in the First Week invites us to imagine that we are praying to Jesus on the cross. During this time, we ask ourselves:

  • What have I done for Christ?

  • What am I doing for Christ?

  • What ought I do for Christ?

As we enter more deeply into this season of Advent, I find myself drawn to the image of the infant Jesus. I imagine myself sitting and rocking Mary’s baby, just as I have spent so many hours rocking with my own children. As I look down into the face of baby Jesus, embodying peace, hope and promise, I ask myself:

  • What have I done for the infant Jesus?

  • What am I doing for the infant Jesus?

  • What ought I do for the infant Jesus?

—Lauren Gaffey is Director of Programs and Administration at Charis Ministries. Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s nationwide, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality. www.charisministries.org

Prayer

Lord, it’s almost too much to comprehend – you seek us! Regardless of the number of times we have fallen short, you, nonetheless, pursue us. Though such personal love sometimes seems too good to be true, we embrace your divine fidelity. We will seek your voice in the ordinary exchanges of the day. We will look with great anticipation upon the wonderful ways you will connect with our lives. We simply need to believe and never underestimate your constancy.

—The Jesuit Prayer Team


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

Use this feature to hide the Candles that you dont wish to make public.

You can only view these candles when the "Show Hidden Candles" option is set to YES.

Sorry, there are no refunds on hidden candles.

Hide this Candle
Cancel

7 Day Candle – Blue
$0.99

30 Day Candle – Blue
$2.99

6 Month Candle – Blue
$9.99

First Candle FREE
$2.99

7 Day Candle – Red
$.99

7 Day Candle – Green
$.99

7 Day Candle – Violet
$0.99

7 Day Candle – Yellow
$0.99

30 Day Candle – Red
$2.99

30 Day Candle – Green
$2.99

30 Day Candle – Violet
$2.99

30 Day Candle – Yellow
$2.99

6 Month Candle – Red
$9.99

6 Month Candle Green
$9.99

6 Month Candle – Violet
$9.99

6 Month Candle – Yellow
$9.99

(help)

You are reporting this Candle?

Yes
Cancel