“Repentance raises the fallen, mourning knocks at the gate of Heaven, and holy humility opens it.” - St. John Climacus - was a 7th-century Christian monk
Gospel Text: (LK 15:1-10)
The tax 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 Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.
“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”
The shepherd relentlessly searches for his lost sheep, leaving the other ninety-nine during his search, and calls his neighbors to rejoice with him on finding the lost sheep. The woman makes a thorough search in her house for the lost silver coin.
The parables are simple depictions of God searching and finding the repentant sinner: "I tell you, just so, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine upright who do not need to repent." (Lk 15: 7)
In similar fashion the loving and forgiving father of the prodigal son shows God's love for the repentant sinner: ". . . this brother of yours was dead and has come back to life, He was lost and is found. And for that we had to rejoice and be glad." (Lk 15: 32)