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Word of Life September 2011 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been.

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Presentation on theme: "Word of Life September 2011 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Word of Life September 2011

3 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32)

4 This passage is found at the end of the well-known parable of the Prodigal Son which presents us with the greatness of God's mercy.

5 It concludes a whole chapter in Luke’s gospel where Jesus tells two other parables on the same theme.

6 Do you recall the story of the lost sheep where the owner leaves the other ninety-nine in the desert while he searches for the lost one?

7 And do you recall the story of the lost drachma and the joy of the woman when she finds it again; she calls her friends and neighbours so that they may rejoice with her?

8 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32)

9 These words are an invitation to you, and to all believers, from God. He invites you to rejoice with him, to celebrate and to share in his joy at the return of the sinner who was first lost and then found again.

10 In the parable, these words are spoken by the father to his elder son who had lived with him all his life. After a hard day’s work, he returned home to discover a party for the return of his brother going on in the house, but he refused to go in.

11 The father went towards his faithful son, in the same way that he had gone towards his lost son, and tried to convince him. But there is a clear contrast between the father's feelings and those of his elder son.

12 On the one hand, there is the father with his measureless love and great joy which he wants to share with everyone.

13 On the other hand, there is the son full of contempt and jealousy towards his brother whom he no longer recognizes as his brother. In fact, he calls him, 'This son of yours … who has devoured your property’.

14 The love of the father and his joy at the return of his prodigal son serve to emphasize even more the ill feeling of the other son. His anger betrays a cold, and you could say false, relationship with his father.

15 This son cares most about work, about carrying out his duty, but he does not love his father as a son. Rather, you could say, he obeys him as an employer.

16 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32)

17 With these words, Jesus warns against a danger you too could face: the danger of living life so as to be upright, basing everything upon the search for your own perfection, while judging others who are not as good as you.

18 In fact, if you are ‘attached’ to perfection, you build yourself up; you are full of yourself, filled with self-admiration.

19 You act like the son who stayed at home, who lists his good points before his father: ‘All these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command’.

20 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32)

21 With these words Jesus goes against the attitude that sees a relationship with God as based only on observing the commandments. Observing them is not enough. Jewish tradition was also well aware of this.

22 In this parable, Jesus puts God’s Love into light, showing how God, who is Love, takes the first step towards human beings, without considering whether they deserve it or not. God wants human beings to open up to him and so be able to enter into a genuine communion of life.

23 Naturally, as may be clear, the greatest obstacle to God-Love is precisely the way of living that heaps up actions, piles up works, while God wants our hearts.

24 "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32)

25 With these words, Jesus invites you to have the same measureless love towards the sinner that the Father has. Jesus calls you not to judge according to your own measure the love the Father has for any and every person.

26 In inviting his elder son to share his joy for his long- lost son, the Father is also asking you to change your mentality.

27 In practice you have to welcome as brothers and sisters even those who otherwise would give rise in you to feelings of contempt or superiority.

28 This will bring about a true conversion in you, because it will purge you of the conviction that you are somehow ‘better’, help you avoid religious intolerance and make you welcome salvation, won for you by Jesus, as a pure gift of God's love.

29 “Word of Life”, monthly publication of the Focolare Movement. Original text by: Chiara Lubich, March Graphic design by Anna Lollo in collaboration with Fr. Placido D’Omina (Sicily - Italy) This commentary on the Word of Life is translated in 96 languages, and it reaches millions of people throughout the world through the press, radio, TV and internet – for more information visit This Powerpoint presentation is translated in various languages and is published on "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32) ) "But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found." (Lk 15,32) )


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