Luke 15:3

And he spoke this parable unto them, saying,
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
St. Luke did not idly present three parables in a row. By the parables of the sheep that strayed and was found, the coin which was lost and was found, and the son who was dead and came to life, we may cure our wounds, being encouraged by a threefold remedy. “A threefold cord will not be broken.” Who are the father, the shepherd and the woman? They are God the Father, Christ and the church. Christ carries you on his body, he who took your sins on himself. The church seeks, and the Father receives. The shepherd carries. The mother searches. The father clothes. First mercy comes, then intercession, and third reconciliation. Each complements the other. The Savior rescues, the church intercedes, and the Creator reconciles. The mercy of the divine act is the same, but the grace differs according to our merits. The weary sheep is recalled by the shepherd, the coin which was lost is found, the son retraces his steps to his father and returns, guilty of error but totally repentant. –. ...

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Let us rejoice that the sheep that had strayed in Adam is lifted on Christ. The shoulders of Christ are the arms of the cross. There, I laid down my sins. I rested on the neck of that noble yoke. The sheep is one in kind, not in appearance, because “we are all one body” but many members. It is written, “You are the body of Christ, and members individually.” “The Son of man came to seek and save what was lost.” He sought all, because “as in Adam all men die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” ...

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
The price of the soul is faith. Faith is the lost drachma that the woman in the Gospel seeks diligently. We read that she lit a candle and swept her house. After finding it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, inviting them to rejoice with her because she has found the drachma that she had lost. The damage to the soul is great if one has lost the faith or the grace that he has gained for himself at the price of faith. Light your lamp. “Your lamp is your eye,” that is, the interior eye of the soul. Light the lamp that feeds on the oil of the spirit and shines throughout your whole house. Search for the drachma, the redemption of your soul. If a person loses this, he is troubled, and if he finds it, he rejoices. ...

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
The shepherd is rich. We are his hundredth portion. He has innumerable flocks of angels, of archangels, of dominions, of powers, of thrones, of the others whom he left on the mountains. Since these are rational, they fittingly rejoice in the salvation of people. Although this also may be of benefit as an incentive to honesty, if each believes that his conversion would be pleasing to the hosts of angels, whose protection is to be sought and whose displeasure feared. Be a source of joy to the angels. May they rejoice in your return. ...

Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
The woman did not idly rejoice to find her coin. The coin, having the image of the emperor, is not ordinary. The image of the King is the register of the church. We are sheep. Let us pray that he would be pleased to place us beside the water of rest. We are sheep. Let us seek pastures. We are coins. Let us have a price. We are sons. Let us hurry to the Father. Let us not fear because we have squandered the inheritance of spiritual dignity that we received on earthly pleasures. Since the Father conferred on the Son the treasure that he had, the wealth of faith is never made void. Although he has given all, he possesses all and does not lose what he has bestowed. Do not fear that perhaps he will not receive you, for the Lord has no pleasure in the destruction of the living. Already meeting you on the way, he falls on your neck, “for the Lord sets the fallen right.” He will give you a kiss, that is, the pledge of piety and love. He will order the robe, ring and the shoes to be brought. Yo...

Basil the Great

AD 379
Leaving those that have not strayed, the good Shepherd seeks you. If you will surrender yourself, he will not hold back. In his kindness, he will lift you up on his shoulders, rejoicing that he has found his sheep that was lost. The Father stands and awaits your return from your wandering. Only turn to him, and while you are still afar off, he will run and embrace your neck. With loving embraces, he will enfold you, now cleansed by your repentance…. He says, “Truly I say to you that there is joy in heaven before God over one sinner who repents.” If any one of those who seem to stand will bring a charge that you have been quickly received, the good Father himself will answer for you. He will say, “It is fitting that we should celebrate and be glad, for this my daughter was dead and is come to life again. She was lost and is found.” ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
This second parable compares what was lost to a drachma. It is as one out of ten, a perfect number and of a sum complete in the accounting. The number ten also is perfect, being the close of the series from the unit upwards. This parable clearly shows that we are in the royal likeness and image, even that of God over all. I suppose the drachma is the denarius on which is stamped the royal likeness. We, who had fallen and had been lost, have been found by Christ and transformed by holiness and righteousness into his image…. A search was made for that which had fallen, so the woman lighted a lamp…. By the light, what was lost is saved, and there is joy for the powers above. They rejoice even in one sinner that repents, as he who knows all things has taught us. They keep a festival over one who is saved, united with the divine purpose, and never cease to praise the Savior’s gentleness. What great joy must fill them when all beneath heaven is saved and Christ calls them by faith to acknowl...

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
So, to, she is found in those holy examples touching patience in the Lord's parables. The shepherd's patience seeks and finds the straying ewe:. You shall have leave to begin with the parables, where you have the lost ewe re-sought by the Lord, and carried back on His shoulders.

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
There is a breadth of patience in our Lord’s parables, the patience of the shepherd that makes him seek and find the straying sheep. Impatience would readily take no account of a single sheep, but patience undertakes the wearisome search. He carries it on his shoulders as a patient bearer of a forsaken sinner. In the case of the prodigal son, it is the patience of his father that welcomes, clothes, feeds and finds an excuse for him in the face of the impatience of his angry brother. The one who perished is rescued, because he embraced repentance. Repentance is not wasted because it meets up with patience! On Patience ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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