Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
From memory, determine the central points.
These three parables, back to back in Luke’s Gospel, have a similar theme: something lost is found.
The audience, beside the Twelve, are the scribes and Pharisees, who were not seeking the lost but rather were condemning them as sinners. Jesus continues to reach out to these religious self-righteous ones.
One lost sheep is worth the shepherd’s great effort to rescue it. The woman, living in poverty, exerts every effort to find one lost coin, which represents a day’s wages.
The emphasis is on what is lost and the work required to recover that which is lost.
Two sons, the younger of which asks his father for what would be his when the father was dead. Not having to do so, the father grants the request. The son leaves, goes into a Gentile area, lives recklessly (in the Greek ‘prodigally,’ wastes all resources, and is forced, to live, to feed pigs, which to a Jewish man would be very shameful.
The lost son comes to himself, recalling his father’s generosity, and wants to return. He is willing to be as a hired hand and not as a son as he is fully aware of his bad behavior.
The father has been keeping watch for him, sees him from afar, and rushes to welcome him. Then the father calls for a great celebration, the noise of which comes to the ears of the elder brother who yet is angered by the celebration.
The father assures the elder son of his continued love for him and calls him to rejoice in the return of his brother.