Sat 14 March
Saturday of the 2nd week of Lent
With shepherdâ€™s crook, O Lord, lead your people to pasture,
the flock that is your heritage,
living confined in a forest
with meadow land all around.
Let them pasture in Bashan and Gilead
as in the days of old.
As in the days when you came out of Egypt
grant us to see wonders.
What god can compare with you: taking fault away,
not cherishing anger for ever
but delighting in showing mercy?
Once more have pity on us,
tread down our faults,
to the bottom of the sea
throw all our sins.
Grant Jacob your faithfulness,
and Abraham your mercy,
as you swore to our fathers
from the days of long ago.
Psalm or canticle
The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what he had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. â€˜This manâ€™ they said â€˜welcomes sinners and eats with them.â€™ So he spoke this parable to them:
He also said, â€˜A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, â€œFather, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.â€ So the father divided the property between them. 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.
â€˜When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, â€œHow many of my fatherâ€™s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.â€ So he left the place and went back to his father.
â€˜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 tenderly. Then his son said, â€œFather, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.â€ But the father said to his servants, â€œQuick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.â€ And they began to celebrate.
â€˜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. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. â€œYour brother has comeâ€ replied the servant â€œand your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.â€ He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, â€œLook, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your propertyÂ â€“ he and his womenÂ â€“ you kill the calf we had been fattening.â€
â€˜The father said, â€œMy son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. 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.â€â€™
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Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright Â© 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc, and used by permission of the publishers. For on-line information about other Random House, Inc. books and authors, see the Internet web site at http://www.randomhouse.com.
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By Matthew Warner - Mar 13, 2009 at 11:30 pm