“Whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. ”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 3 :3-8a)
Brethren: We are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit, and glory in Christ Jesus, and put no confidence in the flesh. Though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If any other man thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law a Pharisee, as to zeal a persecutor of the Church, as to righteousness under the law blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 105.2-3.4-5.6-7 (R. 3b)
R/. Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
O sing to him, sing his praise;
tell all his wonderful works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts that seek the LORD rejoice. R.
Turn to the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his marvels and his words of judgement. R.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
O descendants of the Jacob he chose,
he, the Lord, is our God;
his judgements are in all the earth. R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 11 :25
Alleluia. Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest, says the Lord. Alleluia.
“There is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 15: 1-10)
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.
Humanly speaking, the parables of the gospel reading seem senseless and illogical. But as per Jesus’ teaching, God’s logic is totally different from human logic. God is more interested in the repentance and conversion of even one sinner than in the holiness of the many righteous people who have no need of repentance. As children of God and followers of Christ we should seek for the conversion of sinners at all costs. The salvation of souls should be our utmost priority.