Read Isaiah 40:1-11, Ps. 96:1-3,10-13, Matthew 18:12-14

“And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than the ninety-nine that never went astray. So, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:13-14)*_

Today’s first reading is a message of glad tidings. Isaiah says: “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, and that she has received double from the Lord’s hand for all her sins. (Isaiah 40:1-2). God hates sin, but He never stops loving the sinner. For God, our sinful actions do not define us. This is why He forgives our sins when we repent.

Isaiah also adds: “See, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd, gather the lambs in his arms, carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.” (Isaiah 40:10-11). God forgives our sins and carries us in His arms like a shepherd carrying his lambs in his bosom.

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus re-echoes this reality with the parable of the shepherd who had a hundred sheep but abandoned the ninety-nine in search of one that went astray. For God, there is no such thing as “collateral damage.” No human being is beyond redemption. Even if we decide to get lost, God goes out to search for us, even if it means risking the loss of those who are not lost.

Do you feel far away from God? Is your spiritual life at present a total write-off? Today, God is speaking these words to your heart: “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. Come now…, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:16-18).

Christmas is a reminder that God has not yet given up on humanity. If God could choose to take our flesh despite our collective sinfulness, it means that regardless of your past, God can still work great and mighty works through you. Do not despair. Do not assume your sins are too much. Return to God today; He will fill your heart with supernatural peace.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, as I celebrate once again the birthday of Christ, may I become born again in the Spirit. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 2nd week of Advent, Liturgical Colour: Violet. Bible Study: Isaiah 40:1-11, Ps. 96:1-3,10-13, Matthew 18:12-14).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu