Daily Readings Audio | Daily Meditation | March 25, 2019 – March 31, 2019

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March 25, 2019

« March 24  |  March 26 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

CNS

The Annunciation of the Lord

Isaiah delivers a message that the Lord will deliver a sign of his fidelity. That sign is the Son who will remind all people that God is with them. In the letter to the Hebrews, we hear that God did not delight in holocausts and sin offerings, but through the sacrifice of Christ we have been consecrated once for all. In the Gospel, Mary says “yes” to Gabriel’s announcement that she has been chosen to carry the Son of God.

God transforms brokenness into beauty.

Human beings are not perfect. Scriptures abound with that reality. Every person has faults that can bring shame and dishonor. Yet, God’s will for all people is that they follow the divine law that leads to life. So he gives us the means to be reconciled to him through his son, Jesus Christ – transforming the broken world of sin into the beauty of his kingdom. Let us pray for those who are suffering with brokenness and hurt may be blessed with caring people who will accompany them in their pain. Amen.

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Lectionary: 545

Reading 1 Is 7:10-14; 8:10

The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;
let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered,
“I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!”
Then Isaiah said:
Listen, O house of David!
Is it not enough for you to weary people,
must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign:
the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son,
and shall name him Emmanuel,
which means “God is with us!”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 11

  1. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
    Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
    but ears open to obedience you gave me.
    Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
    then said I, “Behold I come.”
    R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
    “In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
    To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
    and your law is within my heart!”
    R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
    I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
    I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
    R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
    Your justice I kept not hid within my heart;
    your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of;
    I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth
    in the vast assembly.
    R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2 Heb 10:4-10

Brothers and sisters:
It is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats
take away sins.
For this reason, when Christ came into the world, he said:

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.'”

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 1:14ab

The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us;
and we saw his glory.

Gospel Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

 

March 26, 2019

« March 25  |  March 27 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

The first reading offers a prayer of repentance and plea for forgiveness, given by Azriah. In the Gospel, Jesus offers a parable about a servant who owns a huge debt to the king, and is also himself owed a much smaller sum by another servant. Jesus warns that the Father will forgive us only if we forgive others.

We must open our hearts to God, by forgiving others just as we ourselves wish to be forgiven.

God’s mercy is infinite. He will forgive us as often as we repent. But our hearts must be open to receive his forgiveness. If we close our hearts to our brothers and sisters by refusing to forgive them, we shut ourselves off from God’s mercy as well. He will forgive us only to the extent that we forgive others. Let us pray for the faithful, may the light Christ be seen in us, and help us to lead more people to Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 238

Reading 1 Dn 3:25, 34-43

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

“For your name’s sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8-9

  1. (6a)  Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
    teach me your paths,
    Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my savior.
    R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
    and your kindness are from of old.
    In your kindness remember me,
    because of your goodness, O LORD.
    R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
    Good and upright is the LORD;
    thus he shows sinners the way.
    He guides the humble to justice,
    he teaches the humble his way.
    R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart;
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel Mt 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

 

March 27, 2019

« March 26  |  March 28 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

In the First reading, Moses exhorts the people to hear and observe the decrees of the Lord, in order for them to live and to take possession of the land that God gives to them. In the Gospel, Jesus explains that he has not come to abolish the law or the teachings of the prophets, but to fulfill them. The commandments are still binding, and the one who obeys them will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Following God’s commands is how we respond in generosity of all he has given us.

It is easy to think of laws as “the things we must not break so as to not get into legal trouble.” And while that is true, it misses a larger point when it comes to God’s laws. God’s laws are what define our relationship with him, much as the laws of physics define the relationship of objects in motion or at rest. When we obey his commands, we unite with him the way we are intended to, and allow his generosity to be returned in love. Let us pray for all who serve God’s people, may the grace of God further and strengthen them in their mission. Amen.

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 239

Reading 1 Dt 4:1, 5-9

Moses spoke to the people and said:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?

“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20

  1. (12a)  Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
    Glorify the LORD, O Jerusalem;
    praise your God, O Zion.
    For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
    he has blessed your children within you.
    R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
    He sends forth his command to the earth;
    swiftly runs his word!
    He spreads snow like wool;
    frost he strews like ashes.
    R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
    He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
    his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
    He has not done thus for any other nation;
    his ordinances he has not made known to them.
    R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Verse Before the Gospel See Jn 6:63c, 68c

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel Mt 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

 

March 28, 2019

« March 27  |  March 29 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

Jeremiah warns the Israelites that they have failed to walk in God’s ways. Jesus tells those who test him to recognize the finger of God in his power to drive out demons, and that whoever is not with him is against him.

If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart.

Being a Christian means more than listening to God’s word; to be God’s people, we must walk in the ways he commands. Jesus invites us to believe that the kingdom of God comes to us through him. Our faith in Jesus will affect our choices and be evident in the way we treat others. Let us pray for the Church, may the Lord make us worthy to live his call in our lives. Amen.

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 240

Reading 1 Jer 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.

But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

  1. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
    let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
    Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
    let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
    R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Come, let us bow down in worship;
    let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
    For he is our God,
    and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
    R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
    Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
    “Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
    as in the day of Massah in the desert,
    Where your fathers tempted me;
    they tested me though they had seen my works.”
    R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
for I am gracious and merciful.

Gospel Lk 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself,
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

 

March 29, 2019

« March 28  |  March 30 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

In the first reading, the prophet Hosea conveys the Lord’s call for repentance. In the Gospel, we have a rare scene where Jesus and Scribes collaborate to proclaim the two great commandments.

The greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Today we reflect on God first in our lives, and how we can offer the Lord our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. How can we avoid the pitfalls of placing lesser goods, such as our work and family, above God’s rightful place as first in our lives. Let us pray for the Church throughout the world, may the Lord grant us patience for one another, bearing with one another in love with humble and gentle hearts. Amen.

Friday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 241

Reading 1 Hos 14:2-10

Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion.”

I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
“I am like a verdant cypress tree”–
Because of me you bear fruit!

Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14 and 17

  1. (see 11 and 9a)  I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    An unfamiliar speech I hear:
    “I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
    his hands were freed from the basket.
    In distress you called, and I rescued you.”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    “Unseen, I answered you in thunder;
    I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
    Hear, my people, and I will admonish you;
    O Israel, will you not hear me?”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    “There shall be no strange god among you
    nor shall you worship any alien god.
    I, the LORD, am your God
    who led you forth from the land of Egypt.”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
    “If only my people would hear me,
    and Israel walk in my ways,
    I would feed them with the best of wheat,
    and with honey from the rock I would fill them.”
    R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.

Verse Before the Gospel Mt 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Gospel Mk 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself

is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

March 30, 2019

« March 29  |  March 31 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

The first reading is the Israelites response to Hosea’s warning. They say they will change their ways, but God knows their new attitude will be short-lived. In the Gospel, a tax collector humbles himself, asking for God’s forgiveness, while a Pharisee is too proud to admit his sins. The tax collector is justified and the Pharisee is not.

Conversion and repentance must come from the heart.

God tells us that he desires love and knowledge of him rather than sacrifices. We see this today with the Pharisee and the tax collector. When we pray or go to confession, let our repentance come from the realization that our sins hurt God, who loves us. This will help our faithfulness to last. Let us pray for clergy, religious and layperson who serve the Church, may they be blessed with grace to continue in humble service for the glory of God. Amen.

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 242

Reading 1 Hos 6:1-6

“Come, let us return to the LORD,
it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up,
to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
as certain as the dawn is his coming,
and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!
He will come to us like the rain,
like spring rain that waters the earth.”

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your piety is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that early passes away.
For this reason I smote them through the prophets,
I slew them by the words of my mouth;
For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice,
and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab

  1. (see Hosea 6:6)  It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
    Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
    in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
    Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
    and of my sin cleanse me.
    R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
    For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
    My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
    a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
    R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
    Be bountiful, O LORD, to Zion in your kindness
    by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem;
    Then shall you be pleased with due sacrifices,
    burnt offerings and holocausts.
    R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

Verse Before the Gospel Ps 95:8

If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.

Gospel Lk 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

March 31 2019 – Year C

« March 30  |  April 1 »

DAILY MEDITATION
by Daily reading & meditation website

In the first reading, God stops the miraculous manna as soon as the Israelites are able to eat the produce of the Promised Land. Paul tells the Corinthians they are a new creation through reconciliation with God. The prodigal son demonstrates God’s willingness to welcome us back as soon as we turn to him.

God is always ready to take us back, no matter how far or how often we stray.

Jesus’ famous parable of the prodigal son depicts God as a father always ready to take back those who stray from him. No matter how we may have turned away God, we have only to turn back to him through the sacrament of reconciliation. Lent is the perfect time to be reconciled to God and to be a new creation for Easter. Let us pray for the Church, that God may unite us in our witness to his mercy. Amen.

Fourth Sunday of Lent – Year C Readings
Lectionary: 33

Reading 1 Jos 5:9a, 10-12

The LORD said to Joshua,
“Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you.”

While the Israelites were encamped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho,
they celebrated the Passover
on the evening of the fourteenth of the month.
On the day after the Passover,
they ate of the produce of the land
in the form of unleavened cakes and parched grain.
On that same day after the Passover,
on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased.
No longer was there manna for the Israelites,
who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7.

  1. (9a)  Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
    I will bless the LORD at all times;
    his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
    Let my soul glory in the LORD;
    the lowly will hear me and be glad.
    R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
    Glorify the LORD with me,
    let us together extol his name.
    I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
    R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
    Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
    and your faces may not blush with shame.
    When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
    R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Reading 2 2 Cor 5:17-21

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever is in Christ is a new creation:
the old things have passed away;
behold, new things have come.
And all this is from God,
who has reconciled us to himself through Christ
and given us the ministry of reconciliation,
namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting their trespasses against them
and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
So we are ambassadors for Christ,
as if God were appealing through us.
We implore you on behalf of Christ,
be reconciled to God.
For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin,
so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Verse Before the Gospel Lk 15:18

I will get up and go to my Father and shall say to him:
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

Gospel Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them Jesus addressed this parable:
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’

So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”