So to them he addressed this parable. "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? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance. (Lk 15:3-7
Feast of the Sacred Heart speaks of repentance. Heart of Jesus is for reconciliation. Heart of Jesus is for repentance. Heart of Jesus is for building up relationship and for bridging the gaps. Interestingly it is said that repentance is preferred to righteousness.
Shepherd goes after the lost sheep. He does not wait for the lost to return. He goes after it. He goes after it at the loss of all the rest of his belongings. He is ready to lose everything else that he possesses. Saving the lost seems to be his top priority and the only goal.
There is joy and celebration at the occasion of finding the lost. This feast of the Sacred Heart proposes the themes of repentance, going after the lost, and celebration at the time of finding the lost. Could we say that every heart becomes sacred when these elements are found in it?
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, 'You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.'…
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny. (Mt 5:20-26)
Many a times public anger is expressed to people at home. A man who is angry with the people with whom he works comes home to shout at his own family members. The anger that is within the person spills over into hatred and violence. Anger makes a man a little less than human. Anger belittles the person. This anger will let him use abusive languages and later lead him to court.
Jesus gives two remarkably specific and practical commandments. Be reconciled; make friends. It looks simple yet very difficult and costly. When one wants to be reconciled and make friends then he has to come down from the pedestal on which he is standing. One has to abandon the position of superiority. Yes, genuine humans do not live on pedestals; they have their feet on the ground. They are on a level with everyone.
Reconciliation takes precedence over worship. Jesus gives two examples. One is going to the temple to offer sacrifice and the other is going to the court. In both the cases Jesus tells the listeners not to go the temple or court with out reconciliation. Is it possible? It was possible for Jesus. So reconciliation is not an ideal to preach about or admire; rather it is an achievement, an accomplishment which we have to imitate.