Today is Thursday the 8 November, in the Thirty-first week of ordinary time.

The monks of Pluscarden Abbey sing venite filii, audite me. Come, my sons and daughters, listen to me… Come to the Lord and be enlightened; and your faces will not be put to shame.’  As I enter into prayer now, can I sense that invitation from God?  Can I hear those words spoken to me?  And accept the welcome, and that reassurance that God wants to give me?

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.

Let’s face it, there are plenty of shepherds who wouldn’t leave ninety-nine sheep unattended to go after a single lost one.  The kind who don’t care at all about their sheep – they wouldn’t go off looking for the lost one.  And the calculating kind who think “is it worth risking ninety-nine for the sake of one?” – they’d stay put, too.  So what is Jesus saying, then, about God’s attitude to us human beings – us “sinners”?  How does God feel about us?

When I consider the world around me, the part of the world I inhabit, who are among the ninety-nine? (the safe ones who don’t stray – the righteous persons who need no repentance) … And who are the lost sheep who have wandered off?

As you hear the parable again, notice the expressions of love and joy that Jesus uses – the image of the shepherd laying the sheep on his shoulders, the language of celebration and rejoicing….

How do you feel now?  Do you want to feel this love of God more strongly?  Do you want to show more of this love to others?  Speak to God now about whatever feelings and desires this parable has given rise to in you.