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Apr 9, 2021

Family Members Who Are Lost

Jeff Cavins

Who are the lost sheep in your life? Today, Jeff explains the parable of the lost sheep, and explains how we can find the lost sheep in our lives, and bring them back to Christ.

Snippet from the Show

“If a parish is not equipped to recognize and go after lost sheep, we will not find them.”


Ascension is proud to partner with authentically Catholic institutions and organizations committed to spreading the Gospel. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode, Ave Maria University

Matthew 18:10-14 and Luke 15:1-7 The Parable of the Lost Sheep

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”

Matthew 18:10-14

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them.’ So he told them this parable: ‘What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.’”

Luke 15:1-7

This parable reflects the love Jesus has for every son and daughter, even the ones that have strayed away from him. Some of them are lost, but he as the good shepherd never stops looking for them. Who are the lost sheep in your life? 

We are all in need of a shepherd. We wander into places we shouldn’t be and we desire to be led. Jesus has different ways to find each one of us when we’re lost, but it’ll always be through the Church that he leads us back to him. 

Our parishes must be prepared and trained to recognize lost sheep, and know how to go after them with the same zeal the shepherd has in this parable. 

How to Bring Back Lost Sheep

  1. Pray: pray for people in your life who are lost, and that they open their hearts to Jesus’ call
  2. Look for opportunities: look for moments in your life where you can bring someone closer to Christ and his Church
  3. Encourage your parish to look for lost sheep: ask your pastor “are we looking for lost sheep?”
  4. Encourage ways to strengthen your parish’s mission in finding lost sheep: encourage people in your parish to strengthen your RCIA program and teach people about ways they can come into the Church

Matthew 18 vs Luke 15

While these gospels are similar stories, they are speaking to different audiences in this moment:

  • In Matthew, Jesus is giving the parable in response to his disciples asking, “who’s the greatest?” and shows them that they are all equally important to him
  • In Luke, Jesus is addressing the judgemental attitude of the righteous, and using the parable as a teaching tool for them

In both cases, however, Jesus shows his abounding love for not only the lost sheep, but for the 99. When he goes after the one sheep, it’s good news for all of us because tomorrow, that one sheep could be us. The fact that he loves the one shows that he loves you too. 


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  • Check out Fr. Mike’s new podcast: Bible in a Year
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  • Previous Episode: “A Cup of KeurigMa: How to Proclaim the Gospel
  • Ascension is proud to partner with authentically Catholic institutions and organizations committed to spreading the Gospel. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode, Ave Maria University 
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Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins

Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.

Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives. 

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