Lost sheep appear in Sacred Scripture during this season of Advent. It is an apt image of someone lost in the bog of alcohol. At once the alcoholic really doesn’t want to be found and, at the same time, he feels the loneliness of his existence. But it takes an awful lot to get him to grasp the hand for help.
As we long for the coming of The Lord of life in our time and place, we can find comfort in what Jesus says: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” [Matthew 18:12-13] This season is a special time where The Lord works powerfully to get the straying alcoholic back to real life. As Jesus continues to say in the Gospel of Matthew, “It is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.” [Matthew 18:14]
This injunction of The Lord also directs those of us in recovery to do our part in helping other poor souls who suffer our disease. It takes no more than a listening ear and a willing heart to be available to someone who is deep in addiction. Am I willing and available today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, you call me by name today and desire to enter my life. You wish to share my joy and hope, my grief and sorrow. Calm my fears as I open myself to you and my suffering sisters and brothers. Speak your word down deep in the silence of my heart and never let me be parted from you. Gift me today with the abiding presence of your Holy Spirit and the love of the Father. Amen.
These thoughts offered by Brother Richard Hittle, S.J., a grateful 1980 graduate of Guest House and an employee since 2004.