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Day 318 – The Narrow Gate, the Lost Sheep, and the Prodigal Son


Thoughts and Reflection

Today we read that Jesus tells his disciples that bad things do not happen only to bad people. In the book of Job that we read early on, his friends believed that if one is good, then good things will happen. If one is bad, then bad things will happen. Many people of today think this way. Bad things happen to all of us because we live in a broken world.

In another parable, Jesus tells us to “strive to enter by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and not be able” (Luke 13:24). The narrow door Jesus is referring to is having faith in him and conforming our lives to his will. Jesus tells us that hell is real. We should not let those who do not choose heaven get our lives off track.

In the parable of the Lost Sheep, Jesus says that he will be the one that will risk leaving ninety-nine in the flock to go after one lost sheep. He will rejoice when he finds it. This shows his love for us. He celebrates when we return to him.

The sacrament of Reconciliation is like the father who runs out to meet his son and welcomes him back in the parable of the Prodigal Son.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Luke 13

1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them,

2 ‘Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them?

3 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.

4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

5 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.’

6 He told this parable, ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none.

7 He said to his vinedresser, “For three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?”

8 “Sir,” the man replied, “leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it:

9 it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.” ‘

10 One Sabbath day he was teaching in one of the synagogues,

11 and there before him was a woman who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that crippled her; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright.

12 When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are freed from your disability,’

13 and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God.

14 But the president of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and he addressed all those present saying, ‘There are six days when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the Sabbath.’

15 But the Lord answered him and said, ‘Hypocrites! Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and take it out for watering?

16 And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years — was it not right to untie this bond on the Sabbath day?’

17 When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

18 He went on to say, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with?

19 It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’

20 Again he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with?

21 It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

22 Through towns and villages he went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem.

23 Someone said to him, ‘Sir, will there be only a few saved?’ He said to them,

24 ‘Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed.

25 ‘Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself standing outside knocking on the door, saying, “Lord, open to us,” but he will answer, “I do not know where you come from.”

26 Then you will start saying, “We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets,”

27 but he will reply, “I do not know where you come from; away from me, all evil doers!”

28 ‘Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrown out.

29 And people from east and west, from north and south, will come and sit down at the feast in the kingdom of God.

30 ‘Look, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.’

31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. ‘Go away,’ they said. ‘Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.’

32 He replied, ‘You may go and give that fox this message: Look! Today and tomorrow I drive out devils and heal, and on the third day I attain my end.

33 But for today and tomorrow and the next day I must go on, since it would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.

34 ‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!

35 Look! Your house will be left to you. Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you are saying: Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord!’

Luke 14

1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a meal in the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely.

2 Now there in front of him was a man with dropsy,

3 and Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees with the words, ‘Is it against the law to cure someone on the Sabbath, or not?’

4 But they remained silent, so he took the man and cured him and sent him away.

5 Then he said to them, ‘Which of you here, if his son falls into a well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a Sabbath day without any hesitation?’

6 And to this they could find no answer.

7 He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this,

8 ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited,

9 and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you willhave to go and take the lowest place.

10 No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” Then, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured.

11 For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be raised up.’

12 Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relations or rich neighbours, in case they invite you back and so repay you.

13 No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;

14 then you will be blessed, for they have no means to repay you and so you will be repaid when the upright rise again.’

15 On hearing this, one of those gathered round the table said to him, ‘Blessed is anyone who will share the meal in the kingdom of God!’

16 But he said to him, ‘There was a man who gave a great banquet, and he invited a large number of people.

17 When the time for the banquet came, he sent his servant to say to those who had been invited, “Come along: everything is ready now.”

18 But all alike started to make excuses. The first said, “I have bought a piece of land and must go and see it. Please accept my apologies.”

19 Another said, “I have bought five yoke of oxen and am on my way to try them out. Please accept my apologies.”

20 Yet another said, “I have just got married and so am unable to come.”

21 ‘The servant returned and reported this to his master. Then the householder, in a rage, said to his servant, “Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.”

22 “Sir,” said the servant, “your orders have been carried out and there is still room.”

23 Then the master said to his servant, “Go to the open roads and the hedgerows and press people to come in, to make sure my house is full;

24 because, I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall have a taste of my banquet.” ‘

25 Great crowds accompanied him on his way and he turned and spoke to them.

26 ‘Anyone who comes to me without hating father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes and his own life too, cannot be my disciple.

27 No one who does not carry his cross and come after me can be my disciple.

28 ‘And indeed, which of you here, intending to build a tower, would not first sit down and work out the cost to see if he had enough to complete it?

29 Otherwise, if he laid the foundation and then found himself unable to finish the work, anyone who saw it would start making fun of him and saying,

30 “Here is someone who started to build and was unable to finish.”

31 Or again, what king marching to war against another king would not first sit down and consider whether with ten thousand men he could stand up to the other who was advancing against him with twenty thousand?

32 If not, then while the other king was still a long way off, he would send envoys to sue for peace.

33 So in the same way, none of you can be my disciple without giving up all that he owns.

34 ‘Salt is a good thing. But if salt itself loses its taste, what can make it salty again?

35 It is good for neither soil nor manure heap. People throw it away. Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!’

Luke 15

1 The tax collectors and sinners, however, were all crowding round to listen to him,

2 and the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’

3 So he told them this parable:

4 ‘Which one of you with a hundred sheep, if he lost one, would fail to leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the missing one till he found it?

5 And when he found it, would he not joyfully take it on his shoulders

6 and then, when he got home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep that was lost.”

7 In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than over ninety-nine upright people who have no need of repentance.

8 ‘Or again, what woman with ten drachmas would not, if she lost one, light a lamp and sweep out the house and search thoroughly till she found it?

9 And then, when she had found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, I have found the drachmaI lost.”

10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.’

11 Then he said, ‘There was a man who had two sons.

12 The younger one said to his father, “Father, let me have the share of the estate that will come to me.” So the father divided the property between them.

13 A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery.

14 ‘When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch;

15 so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs.

16 And he would willingly have filled himself with the husks the pigs were eating but no one would let him have them.

17 Then he came to his senses and said, “How many of my father’s hired men have all the food they want and more, and here am I dying of hunger!

18 I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;

19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired men.”

20 So he left the place and went back to his father. ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him.

21 Then his son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.”

22 But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

23 Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we will celebrate by having a feast,

24 because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.” And they began to celebrate.

25 ‘Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing.

26 Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about.

27 The servant told him, “Your brother has come, and your father has killed the calf we had been fattening because he has got him back safe and sound.”

28 He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out and began to urge him to come in;

29 but he retorted to his father, “All these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed any orders of yours, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends.

30 But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property — he and his loose women — you kill the calf we had been fattening.”

31 ‘The father said, “My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours.

32 But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.” ‘

Luke 16

1 He also said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward who was denounced to him for being wasteful with his property.

2 He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.”

3 Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed.

4 Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”

5 ‘Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?”

6 “One hundred measures of oil,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down and quickly write fifty.”

7 To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”

8 ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’

9 ‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings.

10 Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.

11 If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?

12 And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?

13 ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’

14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and jeered at him.

15 He said to them, ‘You are the very ones who pass yourselves off as upright in people’s sight, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed in human eyes is loathsome in the sight of God.

16 ‘Up to the time of John it was the Law and the Prophets; from then onwards, the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it.

17 ‘It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for one little stroke to drop out of the Law.

18 ‘Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery, and the man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery.

19 ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day.

20 And at his gate there used to lie a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores,

21 who longed to fill himself with what fell from the rich man’s table. Even dogs came and licked his sores.

22 Now it happened that the poor man died and was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s embrace. The rich man also died and was buried.

23 ‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his embrace.

24 So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.”

25 Abraham said, “My son, remember that during your life you had your fill of good things, just as Lazarus his fill of bad. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony.

26 But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours.”

27 ‘So he said, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house,

28 since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.”

29 Abraham said, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them listen to them.”

30 The rich man replied, “Ah no, father Abraham, but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.”

31 Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”

Proverbs 26:10-12

10 An archer wounding everyone, such is he who hires the passing fool and drunkard.

11 As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool reverts to his folly.

12 You see someone who thinks himself wise? More to be hoped for from a fool than from him!


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