24th Sun Year C
Sunday 15th September 2019

Image supplied by Rich Broderick

The Gospel Paraphrased

There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available.  This paraphrase is not meant to replace them.  Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.

This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased

Lk 15: 1-32

The tax collectors and sinners were gathering round Jesus to listen to him. The religious and civil leaders complained, ‘This man welcomes sinners and even eats with them.’ So Jesus told them this parable.

‘What man among you, owning a hundred sheep, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go looking for a lost one and keep searching till he found it? And when he found it, wouldn’t he lift it on his shoulders and return rejoicing. When he got back home, he would call in all his friends and neighbours to come, saying, “Let’s celebrate. The sheep that was lost has been found.” I tell you so seriously, there is more joy like that in heaven over one repentant sinner than there is over ninety-nine just people who have no need of conversion.

‘What woman among you having lost one of her ten silver coins wouldn’t light the lamp, sweep out the house and search and search until she found that coin? And when she found it, wouldn’t she call in her friends and neighbours saying, “Celebrate with me, for I have found the coin I had lost.” Likewise, I’m telling you there is such joy amongst the angels in heaven when a sinner repents.

‘There was a certain man who had two sons. Well, one of these sons – the younger – said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate – what will come to me when you die.” So the father divided up his livelihood. Then not too many days afterward, the son gathered up his share and took off to a distant country. There he threw away his share of the estate by living sumptuously. By the time he had gone through the lot, the country went into famine, extreme famine, and he was destitute. So desperate was he that he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who then sent him out into the fields to look after the pigs! And how he yearned to stuff himself with the husks the pigs were eating, but no-one offered him even a little. Finally he came to his senses, “How many of my father’s servants have more than enough bread and here am I starving. I will arise, go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not even worthy to be called your son. Treat me like a hired servant.’” So he arose and returned to his father.

‘From a long way off, the father saw him coming and his heart leapt in compassion. Running, he came up and wept on the neck of his son and then he kissed him tenderly. The son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am not even worthy to be called your son.” But the father was ordering the servants, “Bring out the best robe, put it on him, yes, put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet. And bring in the grain-fed calf, kill it. We are going to feast and celebrate! For this, my son was dead and has come to life. He was lost and now he is found.” And they began to celebrate.

‘The older son had been out in the fields and as he drew near to the house he heard the music and dancing and asked one of the servants what was going on. The servant said, “Your brother is here. Your father has had the grain-fed calf killed as he has returned safe and sound.” And the older son was indignant and refused to go in. So his father came out to him to comfort, entreat and plead with him. But he answered his father, “Look, all these years I’ve slaved for you and never crossed a single one of your orders and have you given me so much as a kid to celebrate with my friends? No. But when this son of yours comes home, having chewed up your living with prostitutes, you kill the grain-fed calf!” And the father replied, “Son, son, you are with me always and all that I have is yours. It was only right that we should celebrate. Your brother was dead – he is now alive. He was lost and now is found.”’