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September 11, 2022

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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. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law
frowned at this, muttering, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.

” 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 ninetynine
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

Moses calms the anger of Yahweh. Paul sings paeans of what God’s mercy and grace have
done in him, a sinner. Jesus speaks of God’s delight over a repentant sinner.

Some people comment: “Had there been a mother in the story, the prodigal son wouldn’t
have left home.” However, isn’t a mother truly present in the parable? Meditating on
Rembrandt’s painting Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen writes: “The father’s
left hand touching the son’s shoulder is strong and muscular. The fingers are spread out
and cover a large part of the prodigal son’s shoulder and back.… That hand seems not
only to touch, but, with its strength, also to hold.… How different is the father’s right hand!
This hand does not hold or grasp. It is refined, soft, and very tender. The fingers are
close to each other and they have an elegant quality. It lies gently upon the son’s shoulder.
It wants to caress, to stroke, and to offer consolation and comfort. It is a mother’s hand.…
He is mother as well as father.” God is as much maternal as paternal.

Make the prayer of the Prodigal Son your own. Or, compose one of your own.

Find on internet Rembrandt’s painting and meditate on it.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2022

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