Come therefore, Lord Jesus, to look for your servants,
to search for the tired sheep.
Come, O Shepherd, and look for me as Joseph sought his brethren.
Your sheep has gone astray, while you dwelt in the mountains.
Leave there the ninety-nine other sheep,
and come after the one which strayed away.
Come without dogs, without the bad workers,
without the hirelings too uncouth to enter through the door.
Come without seeking help or being announced:
long have I waited for your arrival.
I know you will come,
“because I have not forgotten your commandments.”
Come, not with a whip, but with charity and gentleness of heart . . .
Come to me, for I am disturbed by the incursions of the ravening wolves . . .
Come to look for me, for I too am seeking you.
Search for me, gather me to you, carry me.
You can find the one you seek: deign to welcome the one you find,
and to place him on your shoulders . . .
St Ambrose, c.339-397 Bishop of Milan
See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.