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“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost 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 has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which 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.” (Luke 15:1-10)

These two Icons remind us of a time when we had stepped away from the Lord. Indeed, we had gone astray. But the Lord in His great mercy sought us out and carried us back to the flock, His Church. When He has brought us back, He calls all of heaven to rejoice with Him. Wow! This is how much the Lord loves each one of us. 

If you find yourself today being one who has wandered off, know that the Lord loves you and desires to bring you back. No matter how far we have wandered away, how wounded we might be, the Lord is there for us. All of heaven will be rejoicing with the Lord over your return. 

If, on the other hand, you are one who has already experienced the Lord carrying you back, pause today, and give thanks to the Lord. Let us rejoice with all of heaven over our rescue and healing. 

May our journey to the Lord’s Holy Nativity be blessed as we remember His mercy and love for us.