Then Zacchaeus said: “Sir, behold I will give, for love of God, fourfold all that I have received by usury.” Then Jesus said: “This day has salvation come to this house. Truly, truly, many publicans, harlots, and sinners shall go into the kingdom of God, and they that account themselves righteous shall go into eternal flames.” Hearing this, the Pharisees departed in indignation.

Then Jesus said to them that were converted to repentance, and to his disciples: “* There was a father who had two sons, and the younger said: ‘Father, give me my portion of goods’; and his father gave it [to] him. And he, having received his portion, departed and went into a far country, where he wasted all his substance with harlots, living luxuriously. After this there arose a mighty famine in that country, such that the wretched man went to serve a citizen, who set him to feed swine in his property. And while feeding them he assuaged his hunger in company with the swine, eating acorns.

But when he came to himself he said: ‘Oh, how many in my father’s house [are] feasting in abundance, and I perish here with hunger! I will arise, therefore, and will go to my father, and will say to him: ‘Father, I have sinned in heaven against you; do with me as you do to one of your servants.’ The poor man went, and it came to pass that his father saw him coming from afar off, and was moved to compassion over him. So he went forth to meet him, and having come up to him he embraced him and kissed him.

The son bowed himself down, saying: ‘Father, I have sinned in heaven against you, do to me as to one of your servants, for I am not worthy to be called your son.’ The father answered: ‘Son,do not say so, for you are my son, and I will not suffer you to be in the condition of my slave.’ And he called his servants and said: ‘Bring new robes here and clothe my son, and give him new [garments]; give him the ring on his finger, and kill the fatted calf and we will make merry. For [this] son [of mine] was dead but has now come to life again; he was lost and now is found.’

While they were making merry in the house, the elder son came home, and hearing that they were making merry within, he marvelled and called one of the servants, asking him why they were making merry in this way. The servant answered him: ‘Your brother [has] come [home] and your father has killed the fatted calf, and they are feasting.’ The elder son was greatly angered when he heard this, and would not go into the house. Therefore his father came out to him and said to him: ‘Son, your brother [has] come. Come therefore and rejoice with him.’

The [elder] son answered with indignation: ‘I have always served you with good service, and you never gave me a lamb to eat with my friends. But as for this worthless fellow that departed from you, wasting all his portion with harlots, now that he is come you have killed the fatted calf!” The father answered: ‘Son, you are always with me and everything is yours; but this one was dead and is alive again, was lost and now is found; [that is why] we must rejoice.’ The elder son was more angry, and said: ‘You can go and triumph [but] I will not eat at the table of fornicators.” And he departed from his father without receiving even a piece of money. As God lives,” said Jesus, “even so is there rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner that repents.”

And when they had eaten he departed for he [was going] to Judea. The disciples said: “Master, do not go to Judea, for we know that the Pharisees have taken counsel with the high priest against you.” Jesus answered: “I knew it before they did it, but I do not fear, for they cannot do anything contrary to the will of God. Let them do all that they desire, for I do not fear them but [rather] fear God.


Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC


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