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March 6 The Gospel breski1 Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 15,1-3.11-32. Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus, but the Pharisees and scribes began…More
March 6 The Gospel breski1

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 15,1-3.11-32.
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 to them he addressed this parable.
Then he said, "A man had two sons,
and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"

Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923)

Abbot
Compunction of heart (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk, London: Sands & Co., 1934, pp. 152-153, rev.)

The sentiments of the prodigal son
What is compunction? It is an abiding state of habitual contrition. (…) Look at the Prodigal Son on his return to his father's house. Do we picture him taking careless, free and easy airs, as if he had been always faithful? No indeed. You may say: has not his father forgiven him everything? Certainly he has; he has received his son with open arms without making any reproach. He did not say: "You are a miserable wretch;" no, he pressed him to his heart. And his son's return has even given the father such joy that he prepares a great feast for the penitent. All is forgotten, all is forgiven. The conduct of the prodigal's father is the image of the mercy of our Heavenly Father. But as for the prodigal now he is forgiven, what are his feelings and attitude? We can have no doubt but that they are the same that he had when, full of repentance, he threw himself down at his father's feet: "Father, I have sinned against you, I am not worthy to be called your son; treat me like the last of your servants." We may be certain that during the rejoicings with which his return was celebrated, those were his predominant dispositions. And if later the sense of contrition is less intense, it is never altogether lost, even after the boy has retaken for ever his former place in the paternal home. How many times he must have said to his father: "I know you have forgiven me everything, but I can never weary of repeating with gratitude how much I regret having offended you, how much I want to make up, by greater fidelity, for the hours I have lost and for my forgetfulness of you." Such should be the sentiment of a soul that has offended God (…). Compunction of heart renders the soul firm in its horror of evil and love of God.