There are times when we remember the mistakes of the past, it will seem as if God can never forgive us again. There are some moments when you remember your past, you conclude already that God can never forgive you or hear your prayer again.
Sometimes, because of some unforeseen circumstances, many of us have already concluded that God hates them.
Some people already conclude that the reason could be due to the sinful lives they lived. Even when some of us pray and have not seen any answer to their prayers, they conclude immediately that the reason is that God hates them and has abandoned them.
We seem to have this belief that there are people God loves the most and hates the most. Such belief is erroneous. God does not hate.
He hates no soul. Rather, He is constantly seeking a way to bring back the sinner to Himself. Only that the sinner does not want to change. We are the cause of our problem and not God.
Many make serious efforts to be close to God but yet things keep becoming hard and difficult.
What we have to know is that when you are very close to God, His love and grace are always sufficient for you. It doesn’t mean you won’t have challenges. It does not mean you will have immediate solutions, but in the midst of all these, His grace, strength and inspiration to go through them are always assured.
God does not rejoice in our suffering. He does not rejoice in our sinful lives and weaknesses. Rather, He is joyful when we decide to return to Him. What Gives Him more joy is when we repent from our sins and return to Him.
In the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32, we can see how the father ran to embrace His lost child. Such is the love of the Father. He hates no soul.
The gospel of Mathew today captures God’s loving nature towards His Sheep.
Jesus tells His disciples
“Tell me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? I tell you solemnly if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at all. Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost”.
Therefore, God does not want us to lose our souls. He does not rejoice over the death of the sinner.
In Ezekiel 33:11, He says “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways”.
Therefore, this shows that He hates no soul. Rather, He wants the soul to change and repent.
In the gospel today, we have the Shepherd, the ninety-nine other sheep and the sheep that strayed. The Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine others in search of the only sheep that strayed away.
This alone portrayed the Shepherd as caring, loving, kind and ever in constant search for the lost sheep. And what makes Him much happy is when He eventually finds the lost sheep.
Imagine how God loves you, but we pay Him back with ingratitude and sin. Imagine how He longs for our communion and love but we repay Him with hatred.
God loves us but we do not have His time. He hates no soul, but we prefer to be outside God than in God.
So, the problem is the sheep, not the Shepherd, for the Shepherd is ready to do everything not to allow anyone to go astray.
When we seem to be Lost.
Whenever we seem to be lost, let us remember that we have somebody who always loves us. Those times when we remember the mistakes of the past, and it will seem as if God can never forgive us again, let us remember that He will forgive you.
Those moments when you remember your past, you conclude already that God can never forgive you or hear your prayer again, remember that He died for you and will be happy to see you return to Him. He hates no soul.
Therefore, if you have already concluded that God hates you because of the challenges around you, I wish to remind you again that God loves you.
If you are suffering and you now think that God has abandoned you, I am assuring you that He has not. Do not forget that some challenges may be blessings in disguise.
When you pray and you have not seen any answer to their prayers, remember He can still surprise you. Do not forget that God’s time is the best.
God does not hate you. Such belief is erroneous. He hates no soul. Rather, He wants you to come back to Him.
Jesus the Good Shepherd.
Jesus is the good shepherd. His willingness to die for us on the cross is a pointer to How loving He is and longing to save us from damnation. We are the ones who have abandoned Him to do our own will.
Do you know that a stray sheep without a shepherd can be stolen or attacked by wild animals?
We make ourselves vulnerable to attacks when we leave His presence.
The point is that we no longer have time for God. We have chosen to live under our directions and yet when we encounter problems, we come back to blame God. So, we are our problems.
God hates no soul. God does not want any soul to perish. He is constantly seeking our return through the sacraments, the word and the Eucharist.
His graces abound every day, yet we abandon these things and claim God has abandoned us. We abandoned the Shepherd to live the way we want. He hates no soul. God loves you. He loves you more than you think.
It is not His will that any soul will lose. Therefore, we choose to be lost.
If You want to make God happy.
This gospel simply points out that one of the things that makes God happy is seeing a soul come back to Him and depends on Him as His stronghold.
In Luke 15:7, He says that “there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent”.
Therefore, if we want to make God happy, we have to say no to our sinful pasts and come close to Him.
He longs to see us love Him and love each other. Jesus longs to see us live in peace. He wants to see us touch lives. He hates no souls and He wants us to do the same. This is Christianity.
The law of Christianity is the law of love.
Imagine a world where everyone loves each other, but selfishness, wickedness, jealousy, faithlessness have taken the order of the day. We have strayed. We have chosen to perish because we have chosen to live the way we want.
It is not and never will be the will of God that we perish. Therefore, we can be saved. Let us go back to the Shepherd that He will guide us.
May God continue to show you His unconditional love and give you the grace to overcome all your challenges today Amen