A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34:11—16)
“I will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down. ”
“Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the fountains, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice.”
The word of the Lord
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 23:1-3a.3b-4.5.6 (R. I)
R/. The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me;
he revives my soul. R/.
He guides me along the right path,
for the sake of his name.
Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
no evil would I fear, for you are with me.
Your crook and your staff will give me comfort. R/.
You have prepared a table before me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. R/.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending. R/.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 5 :5b- 11)
“God shows his love for us
Brethren: God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man — though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we are now justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received our reconciliation.
The word of the Lord
ALLELUIA Matthew 11:29ab
Alleluia. Take my yoke upon you, says the Lord, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 15:3-7)
Share my joy. I have found my lost sheep
At that time: Jesus told the Pharisees and the scribes this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost 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. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
The Gospel of the Lord
In today’s Gospel, the good shepherd goes in search of the lost sheep, and, after finding it, rejoices with his neighbours. Through this parable, Jesus reveals his compassionate love towards those who go astray.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is also a symbol of God’s tender love, compassion and mercy. Although we claim to have faith in the Sacred Heart, we sometimes hold the mistaken belief that God is like a policeman, watching our every move and punishing us when we fail.
Our devotion to the sacred Heart of Jesus should lead us rather to trust more in the love and forgiveness of God, who desires our salvation and well- being. As Disciples of Christ, we should also make an effort to become more compassionate and forgiving towards those who go astray.