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Matthew 18:12

2 February, 2024

How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?  Matthew 18-12

Heavenly Father, Fount of Goodness and Mercy, Pillar of Refuge and Faithfulness, we bow before you in humility and gratitude, humbled by your Divine Nature, which never permits even the most miserable amongst us to perish. You uphold the least and meanest of your creation, with the chance to repent and to survive the calamities that beset them as a consequence of their wickedness. Very often, we submit to temptation and indulge in scandal, false judgment and other offences, which destroy the soul and pull us down into the dragnet of sin, deceit and rebellion.

Jesus our Savior and Redeemer, warns us of such situations, which make us slip and fall away, thus straying from the path of righteousness. Lord, you are the Good Shepherd Who leaves the flock unattended, inorder to rescue those lost and fallen, wandering in loneliness and fear. You have taught us to be charitable in our dealings with our brethren and help in bringing back those who have wandered, unwittingly, from the pack. As Christians, we need to emulate Christ’s behaviour towards his flock, never despising or neglecting those who have lost their way and are floundering in darkness and fear. We need to help recover and restore them, empowering them to walk safely, in the Light of Faith.

Father, help us to recognise the falsehood that the world produces before us, the stumbling blocks and obstacles of the evil one and the errors of our ways. May we follow the path of Truth and lend a helping hand to restore the lost, in a spirit of meekness and compassion. Just as Jesus came into the world to rescue the sinner and to place before them the hope of eternal life, so also, may be be beacons of hope, peace, light, truth and the life of faith to those lost souls we encounter. Grant us your grace, as in Jesus’ Name we make this prayer. Amen

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