Wednesday, December 07, 2016


Matthew 18:12-14 NIV
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 
13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 

14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

I am forever in awe of the way that Jesus can weave a parable into a lesson of a Christian way of life.

As Bishop Barron from Daily Gospel Reflections says, "These are souls who are like lost sheep. Spiritually compromised, unable fundamentally to help themselves, they are at least aware that they are in a mess. They are like people who commence the AA process by admitting that they have hit bottom and are out of control. They bleat and they cry for help." And there are those who are so lost, they have no HOPE of ever being found or their lives made right again.

As Christians, we are obligated, and hopefully encouraged, to hold out a hand or open our arms wide to possible strangers who are lonely, possibly addicted to drugs or alcohol or both, and they are there because they have hit rock bottom and they have lost all HOPE.

Dear Ones, where would we be without HOPE. We have the HOPE that this problem can be fixed. But they need help! How many of you walk by a homeless individual and do not stop and ask if they are hungry and you take them to the fast-food store and buy them something good to eat. Perhaps that leads to conversation and you may know of a place that might take them in.

What I am saying is that if your heart can hold the HOPE of God and Jesus, then it can give some of that hope to others. It doesn't cost anything unless you'd like to buy a meal. People these days take the wide berth around the lost and forgotten. It is in these cold days and nights of winter that I see in my mind's eye the homeless underneath the interstate, pulling apart cardboard boxes for warm and a sheath against the wind.

This Christmas, share your HOPE with someone, or better yet, with many. Most churches have a grocery sack program where you fill it with non-perishable items and return it to the church, where it is taken to local food kitchens and safe houses for the lonely and lost. You could probably afford to fill two bags! 

God has his eye on a person who has lost all HOPE, and he has designated this person for you, whether you meet them or not. The thing is, in giving generously, one or more people may have a Happy Christmas. As I just wrote that, the thought came that just a sack of food, one grocery sack, would make their Christmas so wonderful, and I don't think you'd ever miss the money.

Be generous. Share your HOPE with everyone you meet.

Happy Christmas of the birth of our Savior.

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