First reading Ezekiel 34:11-16

I will look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view

The Lord God says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I shall bring them out of the countries where they are; I shall gather them together from foreign countries and bring them back to their own land. I shall pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in every inhabited place in the land. I shall feed them in good pasturage; the high mountains of Israel will be their grazing ground. There they will rest in good grazing ground; they will browse in rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. I myself will pasture my sheep, I myself will show them where to rest – it is the Lord who speaks. I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong. I shall watch over the fat and healthy. I shall be a true shepherd to them.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 22(23)

The Lord is my shepherd: there is nothing I shall want.
 
The Lord is my shepherd;
  there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
  where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me,
  to revive my drooping spirit.
 
He guides me along the right path;
  he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
  no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
  with these you give me comfort.
 
You have prepared a banquet for me
  in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
  my cup is overflowing.
 
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
  all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
  for ever and ever.

 

Second reading Romans 5:5-11

Now we have been reconciled by the death of his Son, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son

The love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us. We were still helpless when at his appointed moment Christ died for sinful men. It is not easy to die even for a good man – though of course for someone really worthy, a man might be prepared to die – but what proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. Having died to make us righteous, is it likely that he would now fail to save us from God’s anger? When we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, we were still enemies; now that we have been reconciled, surely we may count on being saved by the life of his Son? Not merely because we have been reconciled but because we are filled with joyful trust in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already gained our reconciliation.
 
 

Gospel Luke 15:3-7

There will be rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner

Jesus spoke this parable to the scribes and Pharisees:
  ‘What man among you with a hundred sheep, losing one, would not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the missing one till he found it? And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours? “Rejoice with me,” he would say “I have found my sheep that was lost.” In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine virtuous men who have no need of repentance.’
 
 
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The unconditional love of our Shepherd

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is a
celebration of His heart that is full of unconditional love for us. The heart
of Jesus is like the heart of the shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine
sheep to search for the one lost sheep. Because each sheep, each
person is precious in Jesus’ eyes. He would do anything to bring that lost
sheep back to His arms. When He finds it, there are no words of
condemnation but joy.
 
Today, as we celebrate the Feast of Sacred Heart, let us open our hearts
to experience the unconditional love of the Shepherd, especially in
moments when we feel ourselves lost and vulnerable. We are also called
to be shepherds after the heart of the Good Shepherd and to go out to
share His love with others.
 
 
Question for reflection:
How can I be a shepherd constantly guiding those around me to the
Good Shepherd?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year C” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.