Credidimus Caritati 私たちは天主の愛を信じた


Sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost ―Fr. Benoit Wailliez, FSSPX

2018年06月13日 | お説教・霊的講話
Sermon for the third Sunday after Pentecost
Fr Benoit Wailliez, FSSPX

Last Friday, we celebrated the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
As St. John the Apostle, who rested on the heart of Jesus, stated: "We looked upon him whom we have pierced" and elsewhere "We have come to know and have believed the love that God has for us".
Today, Mother the Church has picked one of Our Lord's parables to keep emphasizing His tenderness and compassion.
Let us have a look and explain what Our Lord meant in today's Gospel.

A man, who had hundred sheep, lost one of them. He left the 99 in the desert and went after the lost sheep. When he found it, he laid it upon his shoulders and brought it back home. He called all his friends and rejoiced because he had found the sheep that was lost.

The owner of the flock is God.
The sheep represents all of us. As Psalm 94 says: "We are His people and the sheep of His flock".
According to Scripture, the desert is "the resting place" of the Lord. For instance, God says: "I will lead her to the desert". It is an image of God's intimacy. We can only find God in silence, away from the noise of this world; in the desert. That is where God keeps His sheep close to him.

The lost sheep is the sinner. It went away from God, probably attracted by a more "exciting life".
Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, who knows His sheep and call them by their name. He notices the loss of His sheep and immediately leaves His flock in order to find the lost one.
This is an image of God leaving, so to say, the restful place of heaven and going into this world, through His Incarnation, to save us. Elsewhere in the Gospel, Our Lord says: "The Son of man came to save what was lost".
He goes after the lost sheep. We always have to remember that when we convert, for instance through a good confession, we are not the ones coming back to God: He is the one who went after us and found us and brought us back to Him, to His Sacred Heart.

The parable says: "He goes after the lost sheep until he find it". Meaning, Christ won't return to His restful place until He has found the sinner. And how does He bring it home? Putting it upon His shoulders. He saved us through His heavy cross, image of the weight of our sins. As a good Shepherd, He puts the lost sheep upon his shoulders and saves it from eternal loss.
Is the owner angry at the sight of his lost sheep, after so many efforts, so much sweat spent for that unfaithful sheep? No, he rejoices. And he wants all his friends to rejoice with him.

The Sacred Heart is so happy to bring us back to Him. He wants the rest of us, in heaven and on earth, to rejoice at the conversion of sinners.
Sometimes we are bitter with non-believers or with people who left the flock. But are we searching for them, at least through prayer? And are we rejoicing if they end up joining the flock or reincorporating it?
Have we forgotten that the "lost sheep" is firstly ourselves before being our neighbor?...

When we will receive communion and be closely united to our Shepherd and Savior, the choir will sing the beautiful concluding words of this parable: "There is joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance". Amen.
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