FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT — Year C

Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

NARRATOR: The tax collectors and the sinners were all gathering around Jesus to listen to his teaching, at which the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, “This one welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  Then Jesus addressed this parable to them: “A man had two children.  The younger of

them said to their father,

FIRST SON: Give me the share of the estate that is coming to me.

NARRATOR: So the father divided up the property.  Some days later, the younger son gathered up his belongings and went off to a distant land. Here the son squandered all his money and inheritance on loose living. After everything was spent, a great famine broke over the land, and everyone including the son was in great need.  So the son went to a landowner, who sent him to a farm to take care of the pigs.  The son longed to eat the husks that were fodder for the pigs, but no one made a

move to give him anything.  Corning to his senses at last, he said:

FIRST SON: How many hired hands at my father’s house have more than enough to eat, while here I am starving! I will break away and return home, and say: ‘I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called one of your children.  Treat me like one of your hired hands.’

NARRATOR: With that, the younger son set off for his home.  While still a long way off, his father caught sight of the returning child and was deeply moved.  The father ran out to meet him, threw his arms around him, and kissed him.  The son said to him:

FIRST SON: I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called one of your children.

NARRATOR: The father said to one of the servants:

FATHER: Quick!  Bring out the finest robe and put it on this one; put a ring on his fingers and shoes on his feet.  Take the fatted calf and kill it. Let us celebrate because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life.  This one was lost and now is found.

NARRATOR: Then the celebration began.  Meanwhile the elder son was out on the land.  Nearing the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.  He called one of the servants and asked:

SECOND SON: What is the reason for this dancing and music?

NARRATOR: The servant answered, ‘Your brother is home, and the fatted calf has been killed because your father has him back in good health.’  The son grew angry at this and would not go in, but his father came out and began to plead with him.  He said in reply:

SECOND SON: For years now I have slaved for you.  I never disobeyed one of your orders, yet you never gave me so much as a kid goat to celebrate with my friends.  Then when this other one returns after having gone through your property with prostitutes, you kill the fatted calf for him.

FATHER: My loved one, you are with me always, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and rejoice!  This brother of yours was dead, and has come back to life.  He was lost, and now is found.

The Good News as spoken through Luke.