"NINETY AND NINE" (Scripture)
"AND the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
And Jesus spake this parable unto them, saying,
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. . . .
And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. . . .
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Luke xv. John x.
"NINETY AND NINE" (Tilden's Meditation)
"IESUS is the sinner's friend, not the friend of his sins, but the friend of him whom he would separate from his sins and lead to God. Divine Love can never close and bolt the door of mercy against any soul, however far he may have wandered. The faithful shepherd leaves the ninety and nine safely grazing in the field, and searches through briar and thicket for this estray from God's fold. The faint bleat of a single lost lamb is louder in his ear than the roar of the tempest. He never rests till the lost is found, and then never drives it back, but lays the poor weary thing on his shoulder and bears it home with a glad heart. Because The Good Shepherd will always follow and bring us in, is it no matter where we stray ? Because the lost will be found, is it a slight thing to be lost ? Not more truly was the fish made for water or the bird for the upper air, than man for virtue, purity, and God. Sin clips the wings of the soul ; leaves it to crawl on the earth instead of rising into the pure airs of holy living. Divine Love goes out to find the sin-sick child."
May we all rise "into the pure airs" this Lenten season. Blessings