1 PT. 5, 6-11; LK. 15, 1-10.
THE story is told of a Yorkshire farmer who, on reading in the Bible about the Isaian vision of peace when the lion would lie down with the lamb, said he believed it all right, but suspected the lamb would be inside.
Today's Mass text juxtaposes a roaring lion, the devil, with the lost sheep whom the good shepherd goes after, leaving the ninetynine until he has found it.
The old nonsense rhyme said: "They came home from the ride with the lady inside/ And a smile on the face of the tiger." The first letter of Peter says:
And the God of all grace, who called you into his eternal glory in Christ, when you have suffered briefly, will himself form, support, strengthen, and establish you.
This means that the roaring lion, far from devouring anyone, has been reduced to impotency; the lamb has taken him into camp. "What strange war is this?" Francis Thompson asked years ago, "where the slain has the gain and the victor has the rout?" It is an engagement in which Christ's wounds, holy and glorious, are the instruments of our healing. He achieved His task principally by the paschal mystery of His passion, resurrection from the dead, and glorious ascension, "whereby 'dying, he