26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
(Parents, the parable in the Gospel for this Sunday does not have much to say to 3-6 year olds who are asking, "Who are you, God?" and, "God, who am I?" They are in the age of falling in love with God. We need to let them have this time of enjoyment before telling them what they must do. Later, when they are in the stage of moral awareness and making choices in how they behave, they will already know the person for whom they make these choices, and will choose to serve, not out of obligation, but out of love. However, if you are sharing this parable with 3-6 year olds, I might take the time to review what they already know about Christ.)
Jesus tells another parable today. This one is about a man who is very, very lost. He is so lost, that he has even lost his own name.
How does the Good Shepherd call his sheep? We know that he calls them by name.
What will he do if one of them is lost? He will search and search until he finds that sheep.
What about sheep who do not belong to the sheepfold? Jesus says, "I must call them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd."
What will the Good Shepherd do about this man who is so lost that he has even lost his name?
The man might have lost his name, but the Good Shepherd knows it. "I know my sheep," he says.
Do we need to worry about this man?
How good it is to be a sheep of the Good Shepherd! He takes such good care of his sheep! We rejoice! Alleluia!