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The loving mercy of God is openly seen in the parables of the hundredth sheep and of the son that was lost.

15 Then all the publicans and sinners sought him out, in order to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, He receives sinners into his company, and eats with them. Then Jesus put forth this similitude to them, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the countryside and go after the one that is lost until he finds him? And when he has found him, he puts him on his shoulders with joy. And as soon as he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost! I say to you that likewise there will be joy in heaven over one sinner that repents more than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Or what woman who has ten drachmas, if she loses one, does not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and search diligently till she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbours, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma that I had lost. 10 Likewise I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons, 12 and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the goods that belongs to me. And he divided the substance of his wealth between them. 13 And not long after, the younger son gathered all that he had together, and took his journey into a far country. And there he wasted his goods with riotous living. 14 And when he had spent all that he had, there arose a great dearth throughout all that same land, and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and attached himself to a citizen of that same country, who sent him to his field to keep his swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his belly with the pods that the swine ate, but no man gave to him.

17 Then he came to himself and said, How many hired servants at my father’s have bread enough, and I am dying of hunger? 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.

20 And he arose and went to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son. 22 But his father said to his servants, Bring forth that best garment and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring here the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and be merry. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is now found. And they began to be merry.

25 The elder brother was in the field, and when he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing, 26 and called one of his servants and asked what those things meant. 27 And the servant said to him, Your brother is come, and your father had the fatted calf killed, because he has received him safe and sound.

28 And the elder brother was angry and would not go in. Then his father came out and entreated him. 29 He answered and said to his father, Lo, these many years I have served you, and not once broken your commandment, and yet you never gave me so much as a kid to make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this your son comes, who has devoured your goods with harlots, you have for his pleasure killed the fatted calf!

31 And the father said to him, Son, you were always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive again, and was lost, and is found.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep(A)

15 Now the tax collectors(B) and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”(C)

Then Jesus told them this parable:(D) “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?(E) And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’(F) I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.(G)

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’(H) 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”(I)

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.(J) 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’(K) So he divided his property(L) between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth(M) in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.(N) 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned(O) against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.(P)

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.(Q) I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe(R) and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger(S) and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again;(T) he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.(U)

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry(V) and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property(W) with prostitutes(X) comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”(Y)

Footnotes

  1. Luke 15:8 Greek ten drachmas, each worth about a day’s wages

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