Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”
Today’s reading continues the theme of a week ago, that it’s never too late to change.
And when we change, there will be great joy in Heaven.
The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“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.”
Remember your compassion and your mercy, O LORD,
for they are ages old.
Remember no more the sins of my youth;
remember me according to your mercy,
because of your goodness, LORD.
May the peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,