Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Lot of Lost Sheep

Despite chaos in the world, my life is blessed.  Saying "yes" to Jesus comes with a ton of graces for which I am forever grateful. A barrage of depressing emails are entering my inbox with things like how there are a lot of Catholics who voted again for Obama. Even when the president is outright giving us "the finger." Poor Jesus is all I keep thinking. There are a lot of lost sheep in this country, and He is asking us to stay focused on Him so we can guide our lost brothers and sisters home. 

In todays Gospel (Luke 15:1-10), Jesus asks us to assist Him in gathering all His sheep:

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." So Jesus addressed this parable to them. "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. "Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.' In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Fittingly, here is a special message from Anne, a lay apostle, post election:

"Dear lay apostles,  

May God continue to grant us His most special blessings in this time.

How are we, lay apostles, called to offer ourselves to the people we meet today?

My friends, always and every day, we are called to offer hope. God's kingdom is not of this world, and we, those who strive to bring about God's kingdom, are probably serving as best we can. Often, in our service to God we decide what success will look like. But this is short sighted. Only God can judge success and failure.

And we must take responsibility for leading God's children into hope, regardless of what external circumstances look like. When saints died for Christ they died in hope, not despair. And if the saints were led to death proclaiming Christ and the hope of eternal salvation, how can we do less while we live? Will we allow the ebbs and flows of Christian unity and popularity to affect our certainty that we have been ransomed at great cost? No. We must direct people continually into the hope that is heaven, which, we must remember, is real.

Also, our goal is not to get everyone to stand where we are standing but to spark transformation in each person so that each person can stand where God needs them to stand. What is our spark? Always and forever, the most effective spark is love. And it is love which will transform a culture of death into a culture of life.

Now, as apostles of the Returning King, we should remain focused on our work, wherever that has brought us. But perhaps we must accept that the on-going risk to God's children in the womb has taken us into an ominous landscape, indeed. The Creator has blessed each of us with life, not cursed us. Each new life, regardless of the circumstances around conception, should be viewed as a personal gift to humanity from God. In the same way, each elderly person should be lovingly escorted by humanity to the moment when he returns to God. Yes, we should help each mother to view herself as a temporary custodian of life, appointed by the Creator to participate in the offering of hope to mankind. Each father should be lovingly directed to integrity and the noble call that is the transferring of integrity into the next generation. Am I off topic? I do not believe so.  

Truly, a hurting culture does not understand, but perhaps we can help them to understand.

I suppose, we will help by pouring ourselves into the counter cultural task of love, just as the first apostles poured themselves into their counter cultural task of love. We do this with positive enthusiasm, excitement and all of the energy that our beautiful young Catholics bring to the job. We do this through fidelity to the Magisterium.

Truly, we are each part of a team which includes all of heaven. So now we pray for all of our leaders, that they will hear the voice of God inside them and be consoled, strengthened and directed.

With love from Anne, a lay apostle"

Lay apostles, we have A LOT of work to do over the next 4 years. Start by stocking up on some Volumes or Heaven Speaks booklets to pass out to those lost sheep. Promise Him you will step up your effort in spreading the Good News.  Begin with those closest to you, family. Speak the name of Jesus often. Thank Him always, in good times and in bad. It's time.

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be part of this apostolate. Guide me to those lost sheep needing some direction for our times!

God bless,

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