Jesus addressed this parable to the Pharisees and scribes:
“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?
Am I nuts to think that this is countercultural to the core? Am I crazy to see in Jesus, the Good Shepherd, an outlook for the flock which runs counter to the pragmatism, utilitarianism, and individualism which permeates our world? Am I a lunatic when no one around me seems to notice the paradox of the Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Am I a self-destructive mess when I join the crowd in missing the point of this supernatural Love?
Yes, and no.
Yes! I am insane with the dis-ease which permeates the world. I am born of Adam, part of the great fallen herd of the world. I am fallible, inconsistent, tempted, narrow minded, sinful, proud, and deceitful, just like the rest of my human neighbors. Yes! I am crazy. For every time I sin, whether mortal or venial, I forget the Good Shepherd who has dropped the ‘good’ 99 in search of the one, lost, prodigal me.
Time and time again.
But I am not so crazy after all. I have also been baptized in the death of Jesus, Confirmed in His Holy Resurrection Spirit. I have been forgiven in Sacramental confession, nourished on His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, and have learned the valuable lessons of prayer, repentance, compassion, forgiveness, and virtue in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic school of sanctity, with my teachers the saints, Doctors, Fathers, Pope’s, Councils, faithful theologians, poets, artists, and holy lay people.
Furthermore, I am not crazy in what I see everyday.
I see politicians, academics, and cafeteria Catholic’s, willfully choosing the 99, forgetting, and sometimes killing the 1. I see it in the eugenic scourge found in the ‘culture of death.’ I see it in the spiritual suicide, and spiritual murder when it is taught to children, in gay ‘marriage,’ transgenderism, the contraceptive mentality, divorce-on-demand, and the religious persecution of American Judeo-Christianity.
I see it, moreover, in the promiscuity of the pop culture. It is evident in the lies and propaganda of the main stream media. It is manifested in American politics, the ‘gospel of prosperity,’ and in rampant organized racial division.
In these every day disorders, I see a ‘love’ which is ready to discard the 1 in order to save the 99. I also see in this ‘love’ a readiness to discard the ONE GOOD SHEPHERD in order that the 99 can roam the earth in disordered self willfulness.
I’ve lived, at times, as one of those 99. Yet, in reality, I, like all of my brothers and sisters of God’s Creation, am really just the lost 1.
Subsequently, salvation is found solely in the countercultural Love of the Sacred Heart.