Ezekiel 34: 11-16
For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
Romans 5: 5B-11
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Luke 15: 3-7
So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is defined and understood by His care for those who are injured and estranged from His love. Jesus sought and saved the lost by giving His life on the cross for our sins. The injured He binds up with words of truth. The sick He heals by His power. He shepherds us rightly through correction, grace and restoration. To understand the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to understand that He will stop at nothing to heal us and then send us to heal others.
It’s impossible to read todays scriptures and gloss over the evangelistic call of all disciples. The heart of Jesus is defined by the shepherd who would leave the majority of His sheep to find one who is lost. In Christian culture it’s easy to read these scriptures and reflect on the nurturing love of Jesus and how it pertains to us. But if we stay there and only focus on letting Jesus bind up our own wounds, then we miss the deeper part of His heart that yearns for those who are separated from Him. When we do that, we bypass the true characteristics of Christ’s love and if we aren’t careful, could find ourselves loving Jesus simply for what He can do for us instead of who He is. He is the Savior of the entire world. To be in right relationship with Him, is to join Him in mission of bringing all those around us into His tend care.
Today, consider how the Lord brought love and healing into your own life and ask Jesus to shepherd you into mission. Ask the Lord to guide you to who He may be calling you to tend so that all might know His sacred love.