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There are two values that Jesus wants his disciples to make their own: the kingdom and the Father. As Jesus nears Jerusalem where His Cross will be raised as a sign of the love of God for all men, he tells the Pharisees and experts of the Law about the mercy of God and the way He deals with sinners. This he does using a series of parables meant to challenge a mentality that judges men and women according to the criteria of the respectable society and not according to the Father’s criteria.

Relevant Articles

We have had several occassions for explaining parts of Luke 15. Check out the following articles:

For the Mag-aral Tayo guide for Luke 15, go to this page.

An explanation of the reading from 1 Timothy 1:12-17 is available at Your Daily Inspiration.

Guide to the Reading of Luke 15

A very minimal reading guide for Luke 15 is presented in this page.

As you read Luke 15, notice the following:

  1. The episode begins with the Pharisees and teachers of the Law reacting to the way Jesus welcomes publicans and sinners. The series of parables Jesus tells in this chapter is actually a response to the Pharisees and teachers of the Law.
  2. Be sensitive to the phrases that are repeated in vv. 4-10. Jesus may be talking about lost sheep and lost coins in these parables, but the phrases that are repeated in these parables should draw your attention to the same underlying message. These phrases will again be repeated towards the end of the parable in vv. 11-32.
  3. Read vv. 11-32 and try to answer the following questions
    1. Who are the main characters in this story? When do these characters show up?
    2. How is the character of the younger son developed in the parable? When does he decide to return? When does the story of the prodigal son end?
    3. How is the character of the father developed in the parable? At which points in the story does he act? At the end of the parable, whose words stand out?
    4. How is the character of the older son developed in the parable? How does he react to what the father did? Is his reaction similar to the reaction of the Pharisees and experts of the Law at the beginning of the episode? Explain your answer.
    5. What are the similarities of this parable to the preceding parables in Luke 15?
    6. Who is the principal character in the parable in vv. 11-32?

Review of the Readings

The first reading is taken from the Golden Calf episode of the sojourn in the desert. God had just made a covenant with his people, but these latter seem to have short-term memory problems. As soon as Moses disappears from their sight, they begin to fashion a Golden Calf, with Aason, the newly ordained priest, leading the way. The wealth that the Israelites brought out of Egypt was used to build the Golden Calf which they began to worship as "the God who brought you up from Egypt." God decides to wipe out Israel because of this act of rebellion. Moses, however, intercedes for Israel asking God to remember the covenant he made to Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. This episode ends with God listening to Moses and does not carry out his decision to destroy them. The responsorial psalm is a combination of Psalm 51 and Luke 15:18, the words expressing the younger son’s desire to return to the Father.

The second reading from 1 Timothy 1:12-17 is Paul’s personal testimony about his experience of God’s mercy. An explanation of the reading is found here. The responsorial psalm,Paul’s testimony about the way he has been "treated mercifully" prepares us for the Lucan chapter on the Father’s mercy.

Suggestions for the Lesson

After the lessons about discipleship during the previous Sundays, Jesus presents to us the central value in his "kingdom spirituality" — the Merciful Father. But note however that far from giving us a "mushy" presentation of Divine Mercy, Luke takes care to point out that the parables of the Lost and Found and that of the Prodigal Father are told to those who have problems with Jesus’ style of welcoming those who are considered unredeemable.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes use of Luke 15. Below is a table of the paragraphs where parts of Luke 15 are quoted or alluded to. Just run your cursor over the references for the text of the CCC.

Luke 15
CCC 1443, 1846
Luke 15:1-2
CCC 589
Luke 15:7
CCC 545
Luke 15:11-32
CCC 545, 2839
Luke 15:11-31
CCC 1700
Luke 15:11-24
CCC 1439
Luke 15:18
CCC 1423, 2795
Luke 15:21
CCC 2795
Luke 15:23-32
CCC 589
Luke 15:32
CCC 1468
Luke 15:1-32
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1Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him.
2And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3And he spoke to them this parable, saying:
4What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it?
5And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing:
6And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost?
7I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.
8Or what woman having ten groats; if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?
9And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost.
10So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.
11And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
13And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.
14And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.
17And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
19I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
22And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
28And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.
29And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.
32But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
Luke 15:1-32
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1Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him.
2And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3And he spoke to them this parable, saying:
4What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it?
5And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing:
6And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost?
7I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.
8Or what woman having ten groats; if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?
9And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost.
10So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.
11And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
13And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.
14And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.
17And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
19I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
22And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
28And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.
29And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.
32But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
Luke 15:1-32
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1Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him.
2And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3And he spoke to them this parable, saying:
4What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it?
5And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing:
6And coming home, call together his friends and neighbours, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost?
7I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.
8Or what woman having ten groats; if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?
9And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost.
10So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.
11And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
13And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.
14And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.
17And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
19I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
22And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
28And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.
29And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.
32But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
1 Timothy 1:12-17
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12I give thanks who hath strengthened me, even to Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he hath counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry;
13Who before was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14Now the grace of our Lord hath abounded exceedingly with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
15A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.
16But for this cause have I obtained mercy: that in me first Christ Jesus might shew forth all patience, for the information of them that shall believe in him unto life everlasting.
17Now to the king of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Luke 15:18
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18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
1 Timothy 1:12-17
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12I give thanks who hath strengthened me, even to Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he hath counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry;
13Who before was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14Now the grace of our Lord hath abounded exceedingly with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
15A faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.
16But for this cause have I obtained mercy: that in me first Christ Jesus might shew forth all patience, for the information of them that shall believe in him unto life everlasting.
17Now to the king of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Luke 15:1-2
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1Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto him to hear him.
2And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
Luke 15:7
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7I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.
Luke 15:11-32
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11And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
13And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.
14And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.
17And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
19I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
22And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
28And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.
29And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.
32But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
Luke 15:11-31
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11And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
13And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.
14And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.
17And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
19I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
22And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
28And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.
29And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.
Luke 15:11-24
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11And he said: A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father: Father, give me the portion of substance that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his substance.
13And not many days after, the younger son, gathering all together, went abroad into a far country: and there wasted his substance, living riotously.
14And after he had spent all, there came a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and cleaved to one of the citizens of that country. And he sent him into his farm to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him.
17And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?
18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
19I am not worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And rising up he came to his father. And when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and running to him fell upon his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
22And the father said to his servants: Bring forth quickly the first robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:18
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18I will arise, and will go to my father, and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee:
Luke 15:21
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21And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, I am not now worthy to be called thy son.
Luke 15:23-32
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23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat and make merry:
24Because this my son was dead, and is come to life again: was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field, and when he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing:
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said to him: Thy brother is come, and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe.
28And he was angry, and would not go in. His father therefore coming out began to entreat him.
29And he answering, said to his father: Behold, for so many years do I serve thee, and I have never transgressed thy commandment, and yet thou hast never given me a kid to make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son is come, who hath devoured his substance with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31But he said to him: Son, thou art always with me, and all I have is thine.
32But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
Luke 15:32
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32But it was fit that we should make merry and be glad, for this thy brother was dead and is come to life again; he was lost, and is found.
CCC 1443,1846
¶1443 During his public life Jesus not only forgave sins, but also made plain the effect of this forgiveness: he reintegrated forgiven sinners into the community of the People of God from which sin had alienated or even excluded them. A remarkable sign of this is the fact that Jesus receives sinners at his table, a gesture that expresses in an astonishing way both God's forgiveness and the return to the bosom of the People of God.
¶1846 The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to sinners. The angel announced to Joseph: "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
CCC 589
¶589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God's own attitude toward them. He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet. But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God's equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God's name.
CCC 545
¶545 Jesus invites sinners to the table of the kingdom: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." He invites them to that conversion without which one cannot enter the kingdom, but shows them in word and deed his Father's boundless mercy for them and the vast "joy in heaven over one sinner who repents". The supreme proof of his love will be the sacrifice of his own life "for the forgiveness of sins".
CCC 545,2839
¶545 Jesus invites sinners to the table of the kingdom: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." He invites them to that conversion without which one cannot enter the kingdom, but shows them in word and deed his Father's boundless mercy for them and the vast "joy in heaven over one sinner who repents". The supreme proof of his love will be the sacrifice of his own life "for the forgiveness of sins".
¶2839 With bold confidence, we began praying to our Father. In begging him that his name be hallowed, we were in fact asking him that we ourselves might be always made more holy. But though we are clothed with the baptismal garment, we do not cease to sin, to turn away from God. Now, in this new petition, we return to him like the prodigal son and, like the tax collector, recognize that we are sinners before him. Our petition begins with a "confession" of our wretchedness and his mercy. Our hope is firm because, in his Son, "we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." We find the efficacious and undoubted sign of his forgiveness in the sacraments of his Church.
CCC 1700
¶1700 The dignity of the human person is rooted in his creation in the image and likeness of God (article 1); it is fulfilled in his vocation to divine beatitude (article 2). It is essential to a human being freely to direct himself to this fulfillment (article 3). By his deliberate actions (article 4), the human person does, or does not, conform to the good promised by God and attested by moral conscience (article 5). Human beings make their own contribution to their interior growth; they make their whole sentient and spiritual lives into means of this growth (article 6). With the help of grace they grow in virtue (article 7), avoid sin, and if they sin they entrust themselves as did the prodigal son1 to the mercy of our Father in heaven (article 8). In this way they attain to the perfection of charity.
CCC 1439
¶1439 The process of conversion and repentance was described by Jesus in the parable of the prodigal son, the center of which is the merciful father: the fascination of illusory freedom, the abandonment of the father's house; the extreme misery in which the son finds himself after squandering his fortune; his deep humiliation at finding himself obliged to feed swine, and still worse, at wanting to feed on the husks the pigs ate; his reflection on all he has lost; his repentance and decision to declare himself guilty before his father; the journey back; the father's generous welcome; the father's joy - all these are characteristic of the process of conversion. The beautiful robe, the ring, and the festive banquet are symbols of that new life - pure worthy, and joyful - of anyone who returns to God and to the bosom of his family, which is the Church. Only the heart of Christ who knows the depths of his Father's love could reveal to us the abyss of his mercy in so simple and beautiful a way.
CCC 1423,2795
¶1423 It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father from whom one has strayed by sin.

It is called the sacrament of Penance, since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.

¶2795 The symbol of the heavens refers us back to the mystery of the covenant we are living when we pray to our Father. He is in heaven, his dwelling place; the Father's house is our homeland. Sin has exiled us from the land of the covenant, but conversion of heart enables us to return to the Father, to heaven. In Christ, then, heaven and earth are reconciled, for the Son alone "descended from heaven" and causes us to ascend there with him, by his Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension.
CCC 2795
¶2795 The symbol of the heavens refers us back to the mystery of the covenant we are living when we pray to our Father. He is in heaven, his dwelling place; the Father's house is our homeland. Sin has exiled us from the land of the covenant, but conversion of heart enables us to return to the Father, to heaven. In Christ, then, heaven and earth are reconciled, for the Son alone "descended from heaven" and causes us to ascend there with him, by his Cross, Resurrection, and Ascension.
CCC 589
¶589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God's own attitude toward them. He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet. But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God's equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God's name.
CCC 1468
¶1468 "The whole power of the sacrament of Penance consists in restoring us to God's grace and joining us with him in an intimate friendship." Reconciliation with God is thus the purpose and effect of this sacrament. For those who receive the sacrament of Penance with contrite heart and religious disposition, reconciliation "is usually followed by peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation." Indeed the sacrament of Reconciliation with God brings about a true "spiritual resurrection," restoration of the dignity and blessings of the life of the children of God, of which the most precious is friendship with God.

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