The lost sheep first
Do not go into pagan territory
or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation:
“The Kingdom of heaven is at hand."
This is not to exclude pagans and Samaritans, of course. At the end of the Gospel (28:16-20), after the Resurrection, our Lord commissions the Apostles again and orders them to “make disciples of all nations.”
Our Lord’s words in today’s Gospel are a reminder that you and I must not neglect the lost sheep around us: those who had embraced the truth of Christ, but have wandered away.
Alas, even we have perhaps wandered.
Lord Jesus, good and gentle Shepherd, bring us all back.