Daily Reading: 17 June – The Teachings of Jesus: Lost and Found – Luke 15:1-32

Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

E100:12.e – The Teachings of Jesus

Lost and Found – Luke 15:1-32 (NLT)

Parable of the Lost Sheep

Luke 15  Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

The Good Shepherd (Le bon pasteur) James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum, New York City

The Good Shepherd (Le bon pasteur)
James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum, New York City

3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

Parable of the Lost Coin

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”

Parable of the Lost Son

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

The Prodigal Son Albrecht Dürer, c.1496 Engraving, Royal Collection Trust London

The Prodigal Son
Albrecht Dürer, c.1496
Engraving, Royal Collection Trust
London

13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.

17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’

The Return of the Prodigal Son (Le retour de l'enfant prodigue) James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894 Brooklyn Museum, New York City

The Return of the Prodigal Son (Le retour de l’enfant prodigue)
James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum, New York City

22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’

28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’

31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Prayer for Prodigals and their Parents

God, we pray today for parents who are enduring the onslaught of discouragement over the choices of their children.

+ Give them hope that your promises are never defeated, and that you can make a way through dark places when there seems to be no light.

+ Give them, today, sound wisdom to know specifically how love for their child needs to be expressed. Then give them the same tomorrow, and then the day after.

+ Give them endurance to hope beyond hope. Give them courage, and surprising joy.

We pray also for the children who are wandering from the ways of wisdom. We pray today that they will return.

+ Lead them home, coaxing their desires, compelling their dreams, and frustrating their rebellions.

+ And when they do make even the smallest step homeward we will welcome them and celebrate the victory.

God, you are a perfect father, THE Father. We know you share this desire with us. Bring our sons and daughters home! We hear your promises and we hold on to them as we hold on to you, and at the same time release our children into your care. In Jesus’ name, we pray.

“Hallelujah” – Hillsong

Closing Sentence

I will teach all your children, and they will enjoy great peace. – Isaiah 54:13

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!



Categories: Life around the World, Life in America, Life in Christ, Life in Our Family

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