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Section 3, Chapter 16

The parables of the lost sheep and of the prodigal son.

15:1. Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him.

15:2. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them.

15:3. And he spoke to them this parable, saying:

15:4. What man of you that hath an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after that which was lost, until he find it?

15:5. And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing?

15:6. And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost?

15:7. I say to you that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.

15:8. Or what woman having ten groats, if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle and sweep the house and seek diligently until she find it?

15:9. And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost.

15:10. So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.

Before the angels. . .By this it is plain that the spirits in heaven have a concern for us below, and a joy at our repentance and consequently a knowledge of it.

15:11. And he said: A certain man had two sons.

15:12. And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.

15:13. And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.

15:14. And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country: and he began to be in want.

15:15. And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.

15:16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

15:17. And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger!

15:18. I will arise and will go to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee.

15:19. I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

15:20. And rising up, he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion and running to him fell upon his neck and kissed him.

15:21. And the son said to him: Father: I have sinned against heaven and before thee I am not now worthy to be called thy son.

15:22. And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe and put it on him: and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet.

15:23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it: and let us eat and make merry:

15:24. Because this my son was dead and is come to life again, was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.

15:25. Now his elder son was in the field and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

15:26. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

15:27. And he said to him: Thy brother is come and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.

15:28. And he was angry and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.

15:29. And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee and I have never transgressed thy commandment: and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends.

15:30. But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

15:31. But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me; and all I have is thine.

15:32. But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.

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