This past week, I sat down with a dear friend of mine to have coffee. We were talking about life and school when she asked the question, “How could Jesus love me, and how could I be good enough if I have greatly sinned and disobeyed him?” It took me awhile to realize, but the love and mercy of Jesus Christ goes beyond our sin. The cross is a symbol of unfailing love. It can be difficult to comprehend this when we feel so tangled and drowned with our sins. But when Jesus carried his cross up to Mount Nazareth, He carried it with all our names and life stories engraved in his heart. When you walk into a Catholic church, the first vision you see is Jesus suffering on the cross. It is a symbol that Jesus died for us in knowledge of all of our names, journeys and sins. It is a reminder that we are accepted, regardless of all of our sins and flaws because He loves us.
But God shows His love for us in that while we are sinners, Christ died for us
We used to all be prisoners and slaves of sin and hate, but when Jesus died for us we were set free. The love and mercy of Jesus has freed us, and because of this, we are no longer slaves, but children of God.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16
In the parable of the lost sheep, God has 99 sheep and notices that one of the sheep has wandered and is no longer following him. Jesus had 99 followers but one of them got lost in the desert. At that moment, Jesus left the 99 in order to go find the one lost sheep.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he had found it, he lays it ok his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
Sometimes I feel like the lost sheep that wandered away from Gods direction. It’s so easy to let earthly things consume us, but these earthly things never quite give us life or make us feel whole, instead the world wounds us and leaves us to bleed. I enjoy the parable of the lost sheep because it’s a reminder that Gods love is everlasting and unconditional. No matter how far you wander away from home, your sins are not too big for God to handle.
Jesus had 99 followers and he left them in order to go and call the sinner home. We are sinners, but despite our sins, Jesus will not abandon us. If we lose track in this journey of life, Jesus will always find a way back to our hearts, so that one day we may live in peace with him.