Gospel: Luke 15:1-32*
Meanwhile tax collectors and sinners were seeking the company of Jesus, all of them eager to hear what he had to say. (…) So Jesus told them this parable:
“Who among you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and seek the lost one till he finds it? And finding it, will he not joyfully carry it home on his shoulders? Then he will call his friends and neighbors together, and say, ‘Celebrate with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner, than over ninety-nine decent people, who do not need to repent.
What woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one, will not light a lamp, and sweep the house in a thorough search, till she finds the lost coin? And finding it, she will call her friends and neighbors, and say, ‘Celebrate with me, for I have found the silver coin I lost!’ I tell you, in the same way, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.”
Jesus continued, “There was a man with two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the estate.’ So the father divided his property between them.
Some days later, the younger son gathered all his belongings and started off for a distant land, where he squandered his wealth in loose living. Having spent everything, he was hard pressed when a severe famine broke out in that land. So he hired himself out to a well-to-do citizen of that place, and was sent to work on a pig farm. So famished was he, that he longed to fill his stomach even with the food given to the pigs, but no one offered him anything.
Finally coming to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will get up and go back to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against God, and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me then as one of your hired servants.’ With that thought in mind, he set off for his father’s house. He was still a long way off, when his father caught sight of him. His father was so deeply moved with compassion that he ran out to meet him, threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But the father turned to his servants: ‘Quick!’ he said. ‘Bring out the finest robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Take the fattened calf and kill it! We shall celebrate and have a feast, for this son of mine was dead, and has come back to life; he was lost, and is found!’ And the celebration began. …
READ: Moses tells how he pleaded on behalf of the sinful people. Consequently, Yahweh changed his mind. Saint Paul acknowledges his sinfulness and gives thanks to Christ for his grace, mercy and forgiveness. The parable high- lights the rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner.
REFLECT: Such is the love and mercy of God to forgive even our most grievous sins. It is totally beyond measure and beyond compare. He could only forgive us our sins because he cannot disown us who came from him. He will do everything to bring us back to his loving embrace, to the point of sharing the materiality of the created order and becoming human like us. It greatly pleases God when we approach him with humility and seek his pardon. God’s forgiveness is life-giving because it reconnects us to him, the source of life. Forgive- ness heals and restores what has been broken and lost.
PRAY: Merciful and loving God, give us the grace to learn to forgive and to ask for forgiveness.
ACT: Forgive others and forgive also one’s self. En- counter God and experience his forgiveness in the Sacra- ment of Reconciliation.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019