1The tax col ectors and sinners, however, were al crowding round to listen to him, 2and the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, 'This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.' 3So 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 desertand go after the missing one till he found it? 5And when he found it, would he not joyful y take it on his shoulders 6and then, when he got home, cal together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, "Rejoice withme, I have found my sheep that was lost." 7In the same way, I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner repenting than overninety-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 thehouse and search thoroughly till she found it? 9And then, when she had found it, cal together her friends and neighbours, saying to them, "Rejoicewith me, I have found the drachma I lost." 10In the same way, I tel you, there is rejoicing among the angels of God over one repentant sinner.' 11Then he said, 'There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, "Father, let me have the share of the estate that wil come to me."So the father divided the property between them. 13A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country wherehe squandered his money on a life of debauchery. 14'When he had spent it al , that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel thepinch; 15so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. 16And he would wil ingly have fil ed himself with the husks the pigs were eating but no one would lethim have them. 17Then he came to his senses and said, "How many of my father's hired men have al the food theywant and more, and here am I dying of hunger! 18I wil leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and againstyou; 19I no longer deserve to be cal ed your son; treat me as one of your hired men." 20So he left the place and went back to his father. 'While he was stil a long way off, his father saw himand was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him. 21Then his son said, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to becal ed your son." 22But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on hisfinger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kil it; we wil celebrate by having a feast, 24because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found." And theybegan to celebrate. 25'Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he couldhear music and dancing. 26Cal ing one of the servants he asked what it was all about. 27The servant told him, "Your brother has come, and your father has kil ed the calf we had beenfattening because he has got him back safe and sound." 28He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out and began to urge him to come in; 29but he retorted to his father, "Al these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed anyorders of yours, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. 30But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property -- he and his loosewomen -- you kil the calf we had been fattening." 31'The father said, "My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. 32But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and hascome to life; he was lost and is found." '
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