This gospel reminds me of the prodigal son.  Those who do what they are expected and do not stray seem to get less notice. Those who wander off, perhaps to where they should not, and then get lost, receive fanfare and special celebrations when they return.

Parents are sometimes accused of having a favorite child. As a mother, I would say that is never true! Instead, what I would say is that sometimes an individual needs that extra attention, love, care, or guidance because it is what is required at the time, or so that they can return to a better path. How blessed we are that, when we stray, God will look for us until we return, and will rejoice when we are found!

Can’t we all find someone who needs a little extra care or support, not because he or she is a favorite or special, but because he or she is one of these little ones who is lost?

—Jane Glynn-Nass, RN, BSN, serves as Provincial Assistant for Health Care within the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.