100 sheep
100 sheep
[Lk. 15:5.]  Saint Ambrose: “Let us rejoice that the sheep which had strayed in Adam
is lifted on Christ. The shoulders of Christ are the arms of the Cross. Rich is the
Shepherd of Whom we are all the hundredth portion. He has innumerable flocks of
angels, of archangels, of dominions, of powers, of thrones, of others whom He left on
the mountains. Since these are rational, they fittingly rejoice in the salvation of men.”
[Ib., Bk. VII, §§ 209, 210.]
Saint Kyril: “The family upon earth had gone astray. It had wandered from the hand of
the Chief Shepherd....He became like unto us, that He might make us also dwell in His
folds, that He might unite us to those who had never gone astray, and drive from us
the beast of prey, and ward off...those impure demons. We understand from this the
wide extent of the Savior’s kingdom, and the multitude past numbering of His
subjects, and the skillful plan of the dispensation toward us. For the sheep are a
hundred, so making the number of His subjects mount up to a multitude complete and
altogether perfect....He left the others, not because He had no regard for them.
Impossible! But because they are in security, guarded by His almighty hand.” [Hom.
106, Commentary, Ch. 15, 428.]

[Lk. 15:6.]  Saint Gregory the Great: “When He found the sheep, He returns home. Our
Shepherd returned to His heavenly kingdom once humanity had been restored. There
He found His friends and neighbors, those choirs of angels which are His friends
because they keep His will unceasingly by their steadfastness....When we are brought
back to heaven, we complete the solemn festival of His delight.” [Hom. 34, Forty
Gospel Homilies, 282, 283; P.L. 76 (col. 1246).]

[Lk. 15:7.]  Saint Dionysios the Areopagite: “In reference to the joy of the heavenly
ranks, they could never experience the pleasures we draw from the passions. The
reference therefore is to the way they participate in the divine joy caused by the
finding of the lost. They undergo a truly divine sense of well-being, the good and
generous delight at the providence and salvation of those who are returned to God.
They are unspeakably happy in the way that, occasionally, sacred men are happy when
God arranges for divine enlightenments to visit them.” [The Celestial Hierarchy, Ch.
15, 340A, in The Complete Works, 190.]

[Lk. 15:8.]  Saint Gregory the Great: “A coin bears an image. The woman lost a silver
coin when a human being, created in God’s image, withdrew from the likeness of his
Creator by sinning. A lamp is light in a clay vessel, and light in a clay vessel is divinity
in a human body.” [Ib., 284.]

[Lk. 15:9.]  Saint Ambrose: “The woman here is a symbol of the Church....She did not
idly rejoice to find her coin. This is no ordinary coin, on which is the image of the
Emperor. And, therefore, the image of the King is the register of the Church.” [Ib., Bk.
VII, §§ 208, 211.]
Saint Kyril: “One out of ten, that is of a perfect number. We are in the royal likeness
and image, even that of God over all. For the royal likeness is stamped on the coin.
We who had fallen, who were lost, have been found by Christ, and transformed by
holiness and righteousness into His image.” [Ib., 429.]
Saint Gregory the Great: “Who are her friends and neighbors unless they are the
heavenly powers mentioned above?...The woman who signifies God’s Wisdom had ten
silver coins, of which she lost one, which she found when she sought it. The Lord
created the essential nature of angels and humans so that they might come to know
Him....The woman had ten silver coins, since there are nine ranks of angels; but that
the number of the elect might be complete, humanity was created as a tenth.” [Ib.,
Saint Gregory of Nyssa: “The soul is widowed if in one virtue it is wanting through
which the splendor of the divine likeness is required. So He bids us light a lamp, that
is, His divine Logos, which makes manifest things hidden, or even the torch of
repentance. But it is within his own house, that is, within himself, and within his own
conscience, that he must seek for the lost piece of silver, that is, for the royal image.
It is not wholly lost, but hidden in the dust, meaning the infections that derive from
the flesh. Let him who finds it rejoice, and call together his neighbors and companion
powers of the soul, namely, that of reason, that of desiring, and that innate
disposition towards anger, and whatever other powers are observed about the soul,
which it teaches to rejoice in the Lord.” [On Virginity 12, in Toal, III:194.]

[Lk. 15:10.]  “Joy ariseth (givnetai) in the presence (ejnwvpion) of the angels.
Literally, “before the face of,” but metaphysically in the sphere of their thought.
Saint Kyril: “There comes to be gladness thereby to the powers above.” [Commentary,
P.G. 72:340A (col. 801).]