A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans (Romans 14:7-12)
“If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.”
Brethren: None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgement on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So each of us shall give account of himself to God.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 27: 1.4.13- 14 (R. 13)
R/ I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
whom should I dread? R/.
There is one thing I ask of the Lord,
only this do I seek:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord,
to inquire at his temple. R/.
I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong;
be stouthearted, and wait for the Lord! R/.
ALLELUIA Matthew 11 :28
Alleluia. Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 15: 1-10)
“There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
At that time: The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus uses two situations (lost sheep, lost coin) to illustrate that, whenever we stray from God’s steadfast compassion and love, he always seeks to find us and show us his divine mercy. For our part we must realize we are lost, recognize our need for God and begin the journey home to be embraced by divine mercy. When God’s offer of mercy is met by our repentance, all in heaven rejoice. God’s feast is about rejoicing over us humans who stray from him but repent and are welcomed back. Let us, like God, be compassionate and loving with others.