12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
A small seed produces a great tree, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)
"Do you see in how many ways he leads us to care for our worthless brothers? Don’t therefore say, 'The fellow's a smith, a cobbler, a farmer; he's stupid,' so that you despise him. In case you suffer the same, see in how many ways the Lord urges you to be moderate and enjoins you to care for these little ones. He placed a little child in the midst and said, 'Become like children,, and, 'Whoever receives one such child, receives me.' But 'whoever causes one of these to sin' will suffer the worst fate. And he was not even satisfied with the example of the millstone, but he also added his curse and told us to cut off such people, even though they are like a hand or eye to us. And again, through the angels to whom these small brothers are handed over, he urges that we value them, as he has valued them through his own will and passion. When Jesus says, 'The Son of man came to save the lost (Luke 19:10),' he points to the cross, just as Paul also says, writing about his brother for whom Christ died (Romans 14:15). It does not please the Father that anyone is lost. The shepherd leaves the ones that have been saved and seeks the one lost. And when he finds the one that has gone astray, he rejoices greatly at its discovery and at its safety." (excerpt from the THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 59.4)