Thursday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Art: The Good Shepherd (Le bon pasteur) by James Tissot – Brooklyn Museum
Reading 1 PHIL 3:3-8A
We are the circumcision,
we who worship through the Spirit of God,
who boast in Christ Jesus and do not put our confidence in flesh,
although I myself have grounds for confidence even in the flesh.If anyone else thinks he can be confident in flesh, all the more can I.
Circumcised on the eighth day,
of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin,
a Hebrew of Hebrew parentage,
in observance of the law a Pharisee,
in zeal I persecuted the Church,
in righteousness based on the law I was blameless.But whatever gains I had,
these I have come to consider a loss because of Christ.
More than that, I even consider everything as a loss
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Responsorial Psalm PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord.
Alleluia MT 11:28
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel LK 15:1-10 (Printed Below) or LK 15:1-32
The 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 Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”
Above: God’s work — Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah, at sunrise
My sisters and brothers in the Lord,
How much we must learn from today’s Gospel! How much we must acknowledge that whatever good we have comes from the Lord! How much mercy we must have for others! Our love and our mercy must reflect that of God Himself, who is boundless love and mercy.
No matter how often we fail, we trust in Him to bring us back to Him. We must do our part, but God is always faithful.
The Gospel of Saint Luke today gives us the story of the Prodigal Son, the son who asks for everything of his inheritance, goes off and wastes it, then returns and his father rushes to embrace him. The ungrateful and unworthy son is contrasted to the other son, who is always faithful and yet who grows angry when the father shows his love for the first son, the son who wasted everything but at least came home.
Hardly any of us really want God to be this merciful! We want some kind of measuring device so that we can say who is good and who is not. Yet God Himself knows that the only way to live is with love: love for those who love us and love for those who want to kill us; love for those who are nice and love for those who are not nice; love for those who do well and love for those who always fail. We can be embarrassed by God’s enormous love because we often don’t want God to love others if they don’t seem to deserve it.
This challenges us today: do I deserve God’s love? We cannot answer that question by telling Him what we have done. We must answer that question by the way that we live His love in our lives. It is not just doing good things that can save us, but doing good because we know that we are loved. We must return God’s love with our love and we must love others as God shows us He loves in this story today.
O God of love, change our hearts so that they reflect your heart, which loves everyone now and always: let us be merciful as our Father is merciful
Your brother in the Lord,
Monastery of Christ in the Desert https://christdesert.org/about/
The Catholic Church as a single Christian Church is the biggest in the world with more than one billion members. In Singapore too, we have about three hundred and eighty-eight thousand people who claim to be Catholic. While it is great to know that we have so many adherents to the Catholic Faith yet not many are practising their faith or even attending church services.
The irony of the Catholic Church is that we have quantity but we lack quality. Many are not well formed in the faith. Most do not have a sense of community or belong to any Catholic group, formal or informal. Some do not even have Catholic friends to share their faith with, or have someone to journey with them in their faith.
Without encouragement and support, they either drop out of the faith or become nominal Catholics, coming for services only on special occasions. They do not have any real relationship with the Lord other than uttering some formula prayers that they had learned. Of course, when it comes to praying the scriptures, it is totally alien to them. They are easily swayed by the arguments of other faith denominations when challenged on the Church’s doctrines, as they are not able to explain what they believe. Unable to deal with the secularistic and relativistic views of the world, they fall easily into the snares that the world presents to them as sources of happiness in life, pleasure, money, power and status.
Indeed, negligence will lead to indifference and then hostility. We find this situation happening before our very eyes but many of us chose to turn a blind eye to this reality. We know that many young people leave the Church after the sacrament of confirmation. Without ongoing formation in their faith, how can they ever grow in maturity in faith? Without being involved in the Catholic community, who can give them support, especially for those who come from non-Catholic families?
Why are we indifferent to the stark reality in the Catholic Church? Why is it that we cannot feel with the sadness of God and with Christ for those who are lost?
Firstly, it is because we cannot identify with the pain, the suffering and the loneliness of our fellow Catholics. We cannot feel with them in their struggles. Some feel marginalized and rejected, especially those with same sex orientation, those who are divorced and those who are struggling with sins. They feel judged, condemned and ostracized. We do not empathize with them when they feel the absence of God or when they feel the community had abandoned them. Indeed, do we understand what it means to be lost and confused and rejected? We only need to put ourselves in the position of the lost sheep. How would the sheep be feeling, all alone, wandering, looking for direction home, and anxious over the wild animals hunting them for food? How would a young boy who lost his mother feel? Surely, we all have the experience of being lost and confused! And worst of all, there is no one who is willing to give us direction, to help us or to show us that they care.
Secondly, we do not feel with the shepherd who lost one of his sheep or the woman in today’s parable who lost one of her drachmas. When we lose something or someone whom we love dearly, it always brings us much pain and anxiety. So we can imagine how worried the shepherd must have been, and the woman as well. Those of us who have lost things know how frustrating it is when we cannot find them, especially when something is of great sentimental value. The drachma might not have been worth much in monetary value but in terms of beauty and joy, it is worth everything.
So if we have not done anything to bring back the lost sheep, it clearly shows that we do not know the heart of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. If we do, then we would quickly help to find the lost sheep as well. It is natural for us to love those whom our loved ones love. This is because we seek to do anything that can make our loved ones happy. If we love Jesus as we claim, then we should also be loving all our brothers and sisters; especially those who have left us and are lost in their faith and direction in life. To do nothing to bring them back to Jesus means that our love for Jesus is not sincere. We only love ourselves and what Jesus can do for us, not what we can do for Jesus.
Thirdly, we do not make our brothers and sisters our own. Our mentality is that they are not ours. They belong to Jesus and so it is not our responsibility. What if the one who is lost is our own child, would we not search for that child? Every parent loves his or her child. Even if there are twelve children, and if one is missing, the parent would feel anxious and look for the child till he or she is found. The truth is that we always give attention to the weakest. If a parent has ten children and one is weak because of illness or physical mobility, it is natural that the parent would give that particular child more attention, not that the others are not important but that child needs more help. So too, when there are wounded sheep, lost ones, confused and led astray, these are the ones we have more responsibility towards rather than just taking care of only the healthy and strong ones. Sadly in our community, we tend to care only for those who are active and neglect those who do not contribute to the church or do not come because they do not add value to our lives. We cut them off like dead branches instead of attempting to reach out to them and help to revitalize their faith.
Today, the gospel invites us to go out and actively search for the lost members of our family. They could be your immediate loved ones, your friends, your colleagues or former members of your church ministry. With tact and compassion, we need to reach out to them, not so much to convert them but to give them the love of Jesus, to offer them the fullness of life and love in Jesus. They are seeking for true meaning in life. We who have Jesus can offer them the greatest of all gifts, faith in Him who is our life.
How can we do this? We begin by being friends with them. We need to connect with them and hear them out, their pains, struggles and aspirations. When possible, we can invite them to join our Catholic community for fellowship. Like Jesus, we must welcome sinners and tax collectors. Like Jesus, we do not judge, condemn or label them. We can encourage them as we get to know them better by sharing our personal faith with them, what Jesus means to us and how He has been a source of inspiration and strength in our lives. When the occasion permits, gently invite them to join our renewal and conversion or healing retreats. The last thing we should ever do is to approach them with doctrines and the laws or use threats. St Paul tells us in the first reading that the laws could not save him. It was the love of Jesus, His mercy and forgiveness.
Indeed, the joy of bringing someone back to the Lord and to the right path is worth the sacrifices. That was how St Paul felt when he said, “But because of Christ, I have come to consider all the advantages that I had as disadvantages. Not only that, but I believe nothing can happen that will outweigh the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” To give life and hope to someone is what is desperately needed in our times. St James tells us, “if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (Jms 5:19f) The truth of course is found in Jesus. Conversion is not just a change of opinions but to come to Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Written by The Most Rev William Goh Roman Catholic Archbishop of Singapore © All Rights Reserved
Lectio Divina From The Carmelites
Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.
Today’s Gospel gives us three parables to help us consider in depth our image of God. The image that a person has of God influences greatly his or her way of thinking and acting. For instance, the image of God as a severe judge frightens the person and renders that person too submissive and passive or rebellious and riotous. The image of God as patriarch or boss, was and still is used to legitimise relationships of power and dominion, in society and in the Church, in the family as well as in the community. In Jesus’ days, the idea that people had of God was of someone distant, severe, a judge who threatened with punishment. Jesus reveals a new image of God: God as Father, full of kindness for all and each one individually. This is what these three parables want to communicate to us.
As you read, try to pause on each detail and, above all, let the words penetrate and challenge you. Try to discover what they have in common and try to compare this with your image of God. Only then, try to analyse the details of each parable: attitudes, actions, words, place, atmosphere, etc.
The 15th chapter of Luke’s Gospel holds a central place in Jesus’ long journey to Jerusalem. This journey begins in Luke 9:51 and ends in Luke 19:29. The 15th chapter is like the top of the hill from which we can see the journey already travelled and the rest of the journey to come. It is the chapter of God’s warm kindness and mercy, themes that are Luke’s main concern. The communities must be a revelation of the face of this God for humanity.
We have three parables here. Jesus’ parables have a precise purpose. These short stories taken from real life try to lead the listeners to reflect on their own life and discover there a particular aspect of God’s presence. In the parables there are two types of stories of life. Some stories are not normal and are not usual occurrences in daily life. For instance, the father’s goodness towards his younger son is not usual. Generally, fathers act much more severely towards children who behave like the younger son in the parable. Other stories are normal and are usual events in daily life, for instance the attitude of the woman who sweeps the house to look for the lost coin. As we shall see, these are different ways of urging people to think on life and on the presence of God in life.
Luke 15:1-2: The key to the meaning of the three parables
The three parables in chapter 15 are preceded by this information: “The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round to listen to him, and the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!’” (Lk 15:1). On the one hand there are the sinners and publicans, on the other the Pharisees and scribes, and between the two groups stands Jesus. This was also happening in the 80’s when Luke was writing his Gospel. The pagans approached the communities, wanting to join and take part. Many of the brothers complained saying that to welcome a pagan was against Jesus’ teaching. The parables helped them discern. In the three parables we notice the same concern: to show what must be done to regain what was lost: the lost sheep (Lk 15:4-7), the lost coin (Lk 15:8-10), the two lost sons (Lk 15:11-32).
Luke 15:3-7: In the first parable you are invited to recover the lost sheep
Jesus speaks to his listeners: “If one of you has a hundred sheep…”. He says “one of you”. This means that you are challenged! You, he, she, all of us are challenged! We are asked to challenge ourselves with the strange and unlikely story of the parable. Jesus asks: “Which one of you with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would fail to leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the missing one till he found it?” What is your answer to Jesus’ question? The way the question is put, we understand that Jesus thinks the answer must be positive. But will it be so? will it be positive? Would you run the risk of losing ninety-nine sheep in order to find the lost one? I hear a different reply in my heart: “I am very sorry, but I cannot do this. It would be silly to leave the ninety-nine sheep in the desert to find the lost one!” But God’s love is above all normal rules of behaviour. Only God can do such a crazy thing, so strange, so out of the normal behaviour of human beings. The background to this parable is the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees against Jesus (Lk 15:2). They considered themselves to be perfect and despised others, accusing them of being sinners. Jesus says: “I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance”. In another place he says: “Tax collectors and prostitutes are making their way into the kingdom of God before you!” (Mt 21:31) According to Jesus, God is happier with the repentance of one sinner than with ninety-nine Pharisees and scribes. God is happier with the repentance of one atheist who never goes to church than with ninety-nine who consider themselves practising and faithful Catholics and who despise atheists and prostitutes. This different image of God that Jesus presents to the doctors, Pharisees and all of us is quite disturbing!
Luke 15:8-10: In the second parable, the woman looks for the lost coin
This parable is different. The short story of the lost coin alludes to the normal behaviour of poor women who do not have much money. The woman in the parable has only ten silver coins. In those days, a drachma was worth a day’s labour. For poor women, ten drachmas was a lot of money! That is why, if they lost one coin, they would look for it and sweep the whole house till they found it. And when they found it, they would be immensely happy. The woman in the parable talks to her neighbours: “Rejoice with me! I have found the drachma I had lost!” Poor people who were listening to the story would have said: “That’s right! That’s what we do at home! When we find the lost coin our joy is great!” Well, as comprehensible as the great as the joy of poor women is when they find the lost coin, much greater is God’s joy over one sinner who repents!
Luke 15:11-32: In the 3rd parable, the father tries to meet again his two lost sons
This parable is well known. It reminds us of things that happen in life as well as of other things that do not happen. The traditional title is “The Prodigal Son”. In fact, the parable does not speak only of the younger son, but describes the attitude of both sons, emphasising the father’s effort to recover his two lost sons. The fact that Luke places this parable in the central chapter of his Gospel, tells us how important it is for the interpretation of the whole message contained in Luke’s Gospel.
Luke 15:11-13: The younger son’s decision
A man had two sons. The younger son asks for his share of the inheritance. The father shares everything between them. Both the older son and the younger son receive their share. Inheriting something is no personal merit. It is a free gift. God’s bequest is shared as gifts with all human beings, Jews and pagans, Christians and non-Christians. All have some share in the Father’s bequest. Not all look after their share in the same way. Thus, the younger son goes off a long way and squanders his share by living a dissipated life and forgetting his Father. There is no mention yet of the older son who also received his share. Later, we shall know that he goes on staying at home, carrying on his life as usual and working in the fields. In Luke’s time, the older son represented the communities that came from Judaism; the younger son represented communities that came from paganism. Today, who is the younger and who the older son? Or may be both exist in each one of us?
Luke 15:14-19: The frustration of the younger son and the decision to go back to the Father’s house
The need for food causes the younger son to lose his freedom and become a slave, looking after pigs. He is treated even worse than the pigs. This was this situation of millions of slaves in the Roman Empire in Luke’s day. This situation reminds the younger son of his Father’s house: “How many of my father’s hired men have all the food they want and more, and here am I dying of hunger!” He sees his life for what it is and decides to go home. He even prepares his speech to his Father: “I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired men!” A hired hand does what he is told, follows the law of servitude. The younger son wanted to follow the law, as the Pharisees and scribes wished to do in Jesus’ time (Lk 15:1). This is what the Pharisee missionaries imposed on the pagans they converted to the God of Abraham (Mt 23:15). In Luke’s time, Christians who came from Judaism wanted Christians who were converted from paganism to submit to the yoke of the law (Acts 15:1ff).
Luke 15:20-24: The Father’s joy at seeing the younger son
The parable says that the younger son was still a long way off from the house, but the Father saw him, ran to him and kissed him tenderly. Jesus gives the impression that the Father had been waiting all the time at the window, looking at the road, trying to see whether his son would appear on the road! To our way of feeling and thinking, the Father’s joy seems to be overdone. He will not let his son finish his prepared speech. He does not listen! The Father does not want his son to become a slave. He wants him to be a son! This is the great Good News that Jesus brings! A new robe, new sandals, a ring for his finger, a lamb, a feast! In this great joy at the meeting, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the Father’s great sorrow at the loss of his son. God was very sad and now people begin to be aware of this when they see the Father’s great joy at seeing his son once more! This joy is shared with all at the feast that the Father orders to prepare.
Luke 15:25-28b: The older son’s reaction
The older son comes back from work in the fields and sees that there is a feast in the house. He does not go in. He wants to know what is going on. When he is informed of the reason for the feast, he feels very angry and will not go in. Closed in on himself, he only thinks of his rights. He does not agree with the feast and cannot understand the Father’s joy. This implies that he did know his Father well, even though they lived in the same house. Had he known his Father, he would have been aware of the Father’s great sorrow at the loss of the younger son and he would have understood his joy at his return. Anyone who is too concerned with observing the law of God runs the risk of forgetting God himself! The younger son, even though he was away from home, seems to know the Father better than the older son who lived with him in the same house! Thus the younger son has the courage to go back to the Father’s house, while the older son no longer wants to go into his Father’s house! The older son does not want to be a brother, is not aware that, without him, the Father will lose his joy, because he too is son like the younger son!
Luke 15:28a-30: The Father’s attitude towards his older son, and the older son’s reply
The Father goes out of the house and begs his older son to go in. But the son replies: “Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening!” The older son glories in his observance: “I have never once disobeyed your orders!” He too wants a feast and joy, but only with his friends. Not with his brother, not with his father. He does not mention his brother as such, he does not call him brother, but “this you son”, as if he were no longer his brother. It is he, the older brother, who speaks of prostitutes. It is his malice that interprets thus the life of his younger brother. How often does the older brother misinterpret his younger brother’s life! How often do Catholics misinterpret the life of others! The Father’s attitude is different. He goes out of the house for both sons. He welcomes the younger brother, but does not want to lose the older brother. Both are part of the family. The one must not exclude the other!
Luke 15:31-32: The Father’s final reply
Just as the Father pays no attention to the arguments presented by the younger son, so also he pays no attention to the older son’s arguments and says to him: “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found!” Could it be that the older son was really aware of being always with the Father and to find in his presence the cause of rejoicing? The Father’s expression: “All I have is yours” includes also the younger son who has come back! The older son has no right to make distinctions. If he wishes to be his Father’s son, then he will have to accept him as he is not as he would like the Father to be! The parable does not give us the final answer of the older son. This concerns us, because we are all older brothers!
The two economies: the Father’s House and the Master’s House
This parable is known as that of the prodigal son, and this implies the economic side of things. Prodigal means someone who spends freely, even though this is a secondary detail in the parable. Really, the main point of the text is found in the fact that the follower of Jesus will one day have to make a choice: the choice between the Father’s House or the system of sharing the master’s house or the system of accumulation.
The parable begins with a young man who asks the father to give him his share of the inheritance because he wants to leave home (Lk 15:12). To leave the Father’s house requires that the person have the one thing the world readily accepts: money. Without money the young man could not face the world. But the young man was not mature enough to administer the money and goes on a life of debauchery (Lk 15:13). To make things worse, when he had spent all his money, he goes through difficult economic times, which, in biblical language, are always described by the word “hunger”. In the biblical world, famine exists only when the economic structure has collapsed. So also the young man begins to be in need (Lk 15:14).
Difficulties faced generate maturity. The young man sees that he still needs money to survive in this world. So, for the first time in his life, he seeks employment (Lk 15:15). Thus he goes to theMaster’s House who sends him to look after pigs. He is very hungry, his wages are not sufficient and he tries to satisfy his hunger by eating the food given to the pigs (Lk 15:16). Meanwhile, in the master’s house things are not so simple: the pigs’ food is for the pigs. The worker must eat from the wages he gets for his service. Thus the master’s concern is not his worker’s hunger but to fatten the pigs. The young man discovers that in the master’s house food is denied, not shared, not even the food given to the pigs. Each for himself!
From his experience in the master’s house, the young man begins to compare his present situation with that in his father’s house. In his Father’s House the workers are not hungry because the bread is shared with all the workers. In the father’s house no one remains without food, not even the workers! The young man then decides to go back to his father’s house. Now he is sufficiently mature to know that he cannot be considered as son, so he asks his father for employment. In the father’s house the workers are not hungry because the bread is shared.
There are those who think that the son goes back because he is hungry. If so, his return would be opportunism. It is not this, but a choice for a particular kind of house. In the master’s house, nothing is shared, not even the pigs’ food. In the father’s house, no one is hungry because the mission of the Father’s House is to “fill the hungry with good things” (Lk 1:53). Sharing is the thing that keeps hunger away in the father’s house. But the young man discovers this only because he is hungry in the master’s house. Comparing the two models, the young man makes his choice: he prefers to be a worker in the father’s house, a place of sharing, a place where no one goes hungry and all are satisfied. So he goes back to the father’s house asking to be one of the workers (Lk 15:17-20).
By putting this reflection at the heart of his Gospel, Luke is warning the Christian communities that are organising themselves in the particular economic system of the Roman Empire. This system is symbolised in the parable by the master’s house, where pigs get more attention than workers, or, where investment is worth more than work. In the Father’s House, or in the house of Christians, this system cannot rule. Christians must concentrate their lives on sharing their goods. Sharing goods means breaking with the imperial system of domination. It means breaking with the master’s house. In the Acts of the Apostles we see that one of the beautiful characteristics of the Christian community lies in the sharing of goods (Acts 2:44-45; 3:6; 4:32-37).
Luke wants to remind us that the greatest sign of the Kingdom is the common table in the Father’s House, where there is room for all and where the bread is shared with all. Living in the Father’s House means sharing everything at the common table of the community. No one may be excluded from this table. We are all called to share. As we are constantly reminded in our celebrations: no one is so poor that he or she cannot share something. And no one is so rich that he or she may not have something to receive. The common table is built on sharing by all. Thus the feast in the Father’s House will be eternal.
The three parables have something in common: joy and the feast. Anyone who experiences the free and surprising entrance of the love of God in his or her life will rejoice and will want to communicate this joy to others. God’s saving action is source of joy: “Rejoice with me!” (Lk 15:6.9) It is from this experience of God’s gratuity that the sense of feasting and joy is born (Lk 15:32). At the end of the parable, the Father asks to be joyful and to celebrate. The joy seems to be dampened by the older son who does not want to go in. He wants the right to celebrate only with his friends and does not want to celebrate with the other members of his human family. He represents those who consider themselves just and think that they do not need conversion.
To build with me
and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self,
that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power,
Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!
Thank you, God, Amen!
Tags: Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest says the Lord., go after the lost one, leave the 999 ship and go find the one lost sheep, LK 15:1-10, MT 11:28, November 3 2016, phil 3:3-8a, Prayer and Meditation, Psalm 105, Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance, This man welcomes sinners and eats with them