Sunday, April 12, 2015

Favorite Bible Passage

I know it it a stereotype, but I've found that when compared to our evangelical brethren, us Catholics aren't much as Bible scholars.  Certainly there are some examples that do break the stereotype, but by and large, we don't seem to study the tome nearly to the depth that other Christian denominations do.

I was clearly an example of that.  While I consider myself a good practicing Catholic, if you asked me a couple of months ago what my favorite Bible passage was, I'd stammer.  I didn't have one.

I've been trying to get better at my Bible knowledge, via work with church groups and in personal study.  Though this, I'm happy to report that I have a favorite passage.  It's Luke 15, but perhaps not the parable that you think from that chapter (the well-know parable of the Prodigal Son).  For me, it is the parable of the Lost Sheep:

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  

I love this story, as for me it reflects God's love for me so clearly.  I am the lost sheep, and upon being found, God hoists me onto his shoulder in celebratory joy.  It is the same shoulder that endured the scourging and hauled the cross, and it is cut, battered, and splintered.  Despite this, I'm carried like I weigh nothing, and am not inflicting further pain.  But, clearly I am inflicting pain, and most especially at those times where I kick myself off His shoulder and head off to do my bidding - my sinning.

Despite this, He comes back looking for me, and when He finds me, up I go back on His shoulders where His celebration begins anew.

That is the depth by which our Shepard loves us.

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Please feel free to include any thoughts you may have. Know, however, that kiddos might be reading this, so please keep the adult language to yourself. I know, for me to ask that language is clean is a stretch...