The Parable of the Lost Sheep &The Parable of the Lost Son

March 27, 2022


Sunday Scripture Readings

JOS 5:9A, 10-12 PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 2 COR 5:17-21

Explore the Sunday Gospel


LK 15:1-3, 11-32

32Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them Jesus addressed this parable: “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,‘ Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

See the Appendix for the Scrutiny readings.


meet our extended family

St. Monica (Feast Day August 27)

c. 331-387

St. Monica’s parents gave her in marriage in her hometown of Tagaste, North Africa, to a pagan, Patricius, who had a violent temper. Monica’s prayers and example finally led to her husband and mother-in-law converting to Christianity.

Monica’s oldest son, Augustine, was a rebellious teenager who rejected his faith and led a sinful life. She tried all kinds of different tactics to lead Augustine back to the faith. She argued with him, she begged him, and she even refused to let him eat or sleep in her house for a time. Through all her failed attempts to turn her son away from sin, Monica continued to pray. One day while praying, she had a vision that assured her Augustine would return to the faith, so Monica stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him—sometimes staying much closer than Augustine wanted.

When he was 29, Augustine decided to teach in Rome. He set sail for Rome one night, telling his mother that he was going to say goodbye to a friend. Monica discovered his plan and followed him. She arrived in Rome only to find that he had left for Milan, so she followed him there. In Milan, Augustine became a student of St. Ambrose, who also became Monica’s spiritual director. Monica continued her prayers for Augustine. A few years later St. Ambrose baptized Augustine and several of his friends on Easter. Soon after, St. Monica passed away. St. Augustine became one of the Church’s greatest bishops, theologians, and teachers. He is also recognized as a doctor of the Church.


Take time to chat

•Why do you think the tax collectors and sinners were drawn to Jesus?

•Why was the father so happy that the younger son returned? Why wasn’t the father angry with the younger son?

•Does the reaction of the older son surprise you? Why or why not?

•St. Monica models perseverance. In what way does she inspire you?


Recipe of the week

Chicken Tinga

Just as the father celebrated with a feast at his son’s return, you can celebrate Sunday and feast on this delicious recipe!

2 Tbspof vegetable oil

1 medium white onion cut into slices

2 large garlic cloves finely diced

3 cupsof tomato cut into cubes

2 Tbsp of parsley chopped extra to decorate

2 chipotle peppers in adobo chopped (the ones that come in a can)

3 cupschickencooked and shredded

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the sliced onion. Stir-fry for 3 minutes and stir in the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Mix in the chopped tomato and parsley, lower the heat, stir and let cook until tomatoes start releasing its juices. This step will take about 6-7 minutes. If your tomatoes aren’t juicy enough add a couple tablespoons of water. Finally, add the chicken and chopped chipotle pepper. Simmer for about 8 more minutes until all the flavors are blended. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, garnish with chopped parsley. You can serve it as a main dish with rice and a salad or as a topping for tostadas, sopes or for empanada filling. If you have leftovers this dish freezes well for about a month.


Family Fun

Gospel Memory Match

Create a simple matching game using words or images from today’s Gospel. Write words or draw pictures on index cards. Each family member can make three (or more) sets of cards that have a word, simple phrase, or picture. Collect and shuffle all the cards. Place them face down on a table or the floor. Have one person select two cards, if they are a match--they keep them and select another two. If they do not match, flip them back down and the next person selects two cards. Play continues until all the cards are matched. The person with the most cards wins.


Other Ideas


Family Prayer

Litany of St. Monica

Pray this prayer today and through out the week along with this week’s Family Challenge, asking for the intercession of St. Monica. A litany is a form of prayer containing a series of petitions to which people make fixed responses. Litanies originated in the 4thcentury.The prayer leader prays the bold text. The responses follow.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

St. Monica, pray for us and for our children.

Model of wives, pray for us and for our children.

You who converted your unbelieving husband and son, pray for us and for our children.

Prudent teacher, guardian of your son in all his ways, pray for us and for our children.

You who carefully watched over his conduct, pray for us and for our children.

You who were untiring in your petitions for his soul’s safety, pray for us and for our children.

You who continuously hoped, pray for us and for our children.

You who were filled with consolation upon his return to God, pray for us and for our children.

You who intercede for all mothers who pray as you did, pray for us and for our children.

St. Augustine, holy son of a saintly mother, pray for us and for our children.

Preserve the innocence of our children, we beseech you, St. Monica.

Protect them against evil, we beseech you, St. Monica.

Pray for those who have fallen away from the Church, we beseech you, St. Monica.

Pray for those who don’t know Christ, we beseech you, St. Monica.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord!

Pray for us, O holy St. Monica, That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

Liturgy Link

Liga a la Liturgia

What statues or images of the saints do you see in your church? Do any of them have special meaning to your parish?

Unleashing the Gospel in your Family

Haz Llegar el Evangelioen tu Familia

This week, intentionally pray for someone you know who has fallen away from the faith.

¡Datos Interesantes!

Fun Facts!

Text Link

Rembrandt painted a picture of today’s Gospel called “The Return of the Prodigal Son.” Find an image of it and see what draws your attention!

Share how your family celebrated Sunday! #52Sundays