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Tami Urcia ponders what the Parable of the Lost Sheep can teach us about our response to grace.

The town my parents live in holds an annual parade. As the police cars and fire trucks and school bands process down the road, they often throw out candy for the children that line the road. My kids jump out excitedly every time they toss a handful, eager for the sweet treats to multiply in their goody bags.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if we acted the same way when it came to grace? What if we just jumped at every opportunity we had to receive Jesus in the Eucharist? What if we were the first in line to receive God’s pardon in the Sacrament of Confession? What if we had the parish Adoration schedule memorized so as to attend whenever possible?

While grace doesn’t feed our sweet tooth, it definitely fills our souls with the sweetness of God’s love and mercy. He is waiting for us to spend time with Him, to come away for a little time apart, so He can begin to change our hearts.




In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Jesus depicts his profound love for us. We probably all know the story well. The shepherd leaves the 99 behind to go in search of the one. As if that weren’t enough to dumbfound us, Jesus states: “And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy.” Essentially, he sweeps it off its feet and holds it close.

I like to ponder what the sheep was like in this scene. Was it broken and humble? Was it tired and faint? Was it trembling and fearful? Was it joyful and relieved? Or my favorite, was it smug and proud, thinking it was more special than the others? I can just imagine that sheep with its head up high, feeling so self righteous to be on the shoulders of its savior.

I then take it one step further and imagine the other sheep once they are reunited. The shepherd joins the fold and they continue walking together toward greener pastures. Some of the sheep might look up curiously at the one on his shoulders. Others might walk right beside him, glad he is back to guide them once again. Others might walk behind him with their heads down, just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. Others may follow the other sheep and not even realize their shepherd is back. Still others may have the audacity to walk in front of the shepherd as if to say, “I know where I’m going; I’ll lead the way!”

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How do we react when we realize Jesus has come to save us as He did for that one sheep? #catholicmom


How do we react when we realize Jesus has come to save us as He did for that one sheep? Do we eagerly reach out to Him, as a child would jump for a piece of candy? Or are our hearts hardened or closed to His love? How do we react when we see others who have been rescued join the fold? Which sheep can you relate to most? 

I pray that when that moment comes that Jesus seeks you out as His unique and beloved child, when He raises you up on His shoulders to carry you, that you may simply bask in the depth of His wondrous love.


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Copyright 2022 Tami Urcia
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