The bull of St Luke


Chapter 15: Overview


We will see that this chapter is a careful composition of Luke shaped around the theme of repentance. At the same time we will also learn much about the nature of our God. As such, this chapter is of special importance for our understanding of Jesus and his teachings.

Composition of the Chapter

The chapter begins with an introduction, verses 1-3. To see the unity of the composition, look now at its end. How do verses 27-30 echo the introduction of verses 1-3?

The three parables follow. The New American Bible's subheadings are a useful guide, even though it includes the introduction with the first parable (which is potentially confusing). I have made a small but important alteration:
The Lost sheep (verses 4-7)
The Lost coin (verses 8-10)
The Lost Sons (verses 11-32

It's worth looking back to 13,1-9 to see a similar (though much shorter) composition.

Now have a look at my response.

Our Reading

The parables of the sheep and the coin clearly fprm pair so we will read them together.
We can then have another page for the third parable, that commonly known as the Prodigal Son .

The Sunday Gospel

The whole chapter is read on the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time, which shows the importance of this chapter for the Church. Unusually the parable in the second half of the chapter, traditionally called the Prodigal Son, is being repeated, because it is also heard on the 4th Sunday of Lent.

We will look at the Old Testament reading for this Sunday when we read the first half of the chapter.

We are now ready to move straight on to our reading of this chapter with the first two parables, Lk 15,1-9.