"It is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost"
Come, Lord Jesus, seek your servant; seek your weary sheep; come, my
shepherd... While you delay on the mountains, see!, your sheep is
straying. So leave the ninety-nine that are safe in hand and come, look
for the one that has strayed. Come, without seeking a helper, without
making yourself known; it is you I am waiting for now. Take no whip;
take up your love. Come with the gentleness of your Spirit. Don't
hesitate to leave the ninety-nine that belong to you on the mountains:
wolves cannot reach the heights where you have set them... Come to me
who have strayed far away from the flocks on high, for you had set me up
there, too, but the night wolves made me leave your sheepfolds.
Seek me, Lord, since my prayer seeks you. Seek me, find me, take me up, carry me! He whom you seek, you can find; he whom you find, stoop to take up; and he whom you take up, set on your shoulders. This burden of your love is never a load for you and you unwearyingly make of yourself the toll-keeper of justice. So come, Lord, since, if it is true that I stray, yet «I do not forget your word» (Ps 119,16) and still keep hoping for relief. Come, Lord, for you alone are still able to call your lost sheep and will cause no harm to those you will be leaving behind. They, too, will be happy to see the sinner return. Come! There will be redemption on earth and rejoicing in heaven (Lk 15,7).
Do not send your menservants, do not send hirelings: come and look for your sheep yourself. Take me up in that flesh that fell with Adam. By this act acknowledge in me, not the child of Eve but the son of Mary, pure virgin, virgin by grace, without stain of sin. Then carry me even to your cross, salvation of the straying, only rest for the weary, sole life of all who die.
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