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Chapter 242 The Great Gospel of John, Book 6

Three parables on the mercy of God. The secret of love

(Lk. 15:5) and having found it, he lays it upon his own shoulders, rejoicing;

(Lk. 15:6) and being come to the house, calls together the friends and the neighbours, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.

1. (The Lord) "Where among you is a person, who has one-hundred, and if he has lost one of them, that he not immediately leave the ninety-nine in the desert and goes back to search for the lost for as long until he has found it, and if he has found it, he with joy places it on his shoulders? And if he arrives back home, he will invite his neighbours and tell them: 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep, which was lost and thus I'm giving a feast!'

(Lk. 15:7) I say unto you, that thus there shall be joy in heaven for one repenting sinner, [more] than for ninety and nine righteous who have no need of repentance.

2. And I say to you: There will also be more joy about one sinner who was lost, if he seriously bettered himself, than about the ninety-nine righteous who never needed penance!

(Lk. 15:8) Or, what woman having ten drachmas, if she lose one drachma, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek carefully till she find it?

(Lk. 15:9) and having found it she calls together the friends and neighbours, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.

3. Or where is the woman who has ten groschen and loses one of them, and would not immediately ignite a light, sweeps the whole house and searches with all diligence, until she has found the lost groschen? And once the woman has found the lost groschen, will she not call together her friends and neighbours and say: 'Rejoice with me; for I have found my groschen which I had lost!'?

(Lk. 15:10) Thus, I say unto you, there is joy before the angels of God for one repenting sinner.

4. And I say to you: There also will be a great joy in heaven among the angels of God about one sinner who was lost, but could be found again by a true and serious penance!'

(Lk. 15:11) And he said, A certain man had two sons;

(Lk. 15:12) and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give to me the share of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided to them what he was possessed of.

5. And listen further to a still very meaningful parable! There was a very respectable and very, very rich person who had two sons. And the youngest son went to the father and said to him: 'Give me the share or the value of my goods which is my inheritance; because I want to move away and make my fortune in the world!' And the father divided the goods of the sons and gave to the younger his share.

(Lk. 15:13) And after not many days the younger son gathering all together went away into a country a long way off, and there dissipated his property, living in debauchery.

(Lk. 15:14) But when he had spent all there arose a violent famine throughout that country, and he began to be in want.

(Lk. 15:15) And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

(Lk. 15:16) And he longed to fill his belly with the husks which the swine were eating; and no one gave to him.

6. And soon afterwards the younger gathered all his belongings and moved far away from country to country. And when he found a place which his senses liked, he squandered his money. And when soon he used up all his possessions, the country was struck by high inflation and he started to suffer. Thereupon he went to a citizen of the same country who send him into the field to look after his swine. When looking after the swine for a few days, he became very hungry and he desired to fill his stomach with the draff which the swine used to eat, but nobody gave it to him.

(Lk. 15:17) And coming to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have abundance of bread, and *I* perish here by famine.

(Lk. 15:18) I will rise up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee;

(Lk. 15:19) I am no longer worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

7. Since he suffered a lot and in the highest need had only roots and gras to eat, he finally turned into himself and said in his thoughts: 'How many day workers does my father has at home, who have bread in abundance and I perish here because of hunger! I want to get ready and move back to my father and say to him: 'Father I have sinned before you in heaven!' I'm not worth it to be your son anymore; just make me one of your lowest day workers!'

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