“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?” // Luke 15:4
I recently came across a video in which Father Mike Schmitz responded to the question: “Does God love some people more than others?” I was intrigued so I watched it, and something Father Mike said resonated deeply with me and helped me to better understand the Father’s unique love for each one of us.
Father Mike explained that God’s love is equal for all of us—equal in intensity (quoting Saint Thomas Aquinas), and that since God is love, He can’t love someone more or less—He just loves. But, he added, God also loves us to varying degrees according to our need. And this is where our deeply personal situations play out—this is where God shepherds each of us through them.
Father Mike said, “Think about the Gospel reading of the ninety-nine sheep, (and) the one sheep that goes off into the wilderness. What does that one sheep in the wilderness need that the other ninety-nine, who are at home, don’t? They need a Father, they need a shepherd, they need someone to go after them. So . . . the more I need His strength, the more He gives His strength. The more I find myself in weakness, the more I get His grace.”
This was a beautiful reminder for me of how Jesus is also loving the sheep that remained with the flock, those who have stayed near Him. He does not forget them while He pursues the lost one. He’s loving each of them—each of us—according to our need. And when we need more, we can rest in this truth and in His arms that He will respond to our needs as a good shepherd does. We are never forgotten or far from His sight.
Pray with this image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Can you see yourself remaining near or do you find yourself further away, in need of His pursuit? Imagine His loving response: Him coming near and carrying you through this week.We are never forgotten or far from His sight. // Annie Deddens Click To Tweet