The Good Shepherd, Roman Catacombs, By Dnalor 01 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
My sweetest Saviour,
having come down from heaven for the service of mankind,
you did not only preach in the temple,
but went out into towns and villages.
You shunned no one.
You visited people,
even the most notorious sinners, in their homes.
You mixed and talked with everyone.
Grant that I too may go out to the market square of my town,
and the villages around,
to share your truth.
Take from me any trace of contempt;
and give me instead respect for everyone,
in the conviction that anyone may become your disciple,
and thus my brother.
Let me remember always that I am the worst of sinners,
so that anyone may be saved more easily than I was.
John Sergieff (aka John of Kronstadt) 1829 – 1908, Russian Orthodox priest
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.