Luke 15:11-32 | Questions


///Luke 13:1-9 – Repentance Barren Fruit Tree

///Luke 13:1-9 – Repentance Barren Fruit Tree

A compilation of over 50 questions
from a variety of sources

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Second Chances

When are ‘Second Chances’ Fair?

We all get second chances in life. Chances to start over. Chances to right a wrong. Chances to make a difference. Of course, many times second chances are not fair or just. But, when we received our personal second chances, did we deserve them or were they gifts?

How have you celebrated conversion this Lent? How have you encouraged those around you to do the same?




Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. When the Pharisees accused him of eating with sinners, Jesus responded with the parable of the Prodigal Son. In what way was Jesus “prodigal”? What was Jesus telling us about God’s forgiveness? In the story did the son have to ask for forgiveness or did he just start on the road back home? Do you forgive easily? Is it easy or difficult for you to ask for forgiveness? What are your feelings about the older brother’s behavior in this parable?

2. How does the story end? Does the older brother take part in the celebration or not? According to Pope Francis, how will creating “a culture of mercy” make the story end well?

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

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Today’s Gospel, the parable of the prodigal son, is one of three parables (see verses 4-10) that Jesus addresses to the Pharisees who challenged him for associating with “tax collectors and sinners” who flocked to hear Jesus’ words (verses 1-2).

The Pharisees were a religious party of Jesus’ day who prided themselves on strictly keeping to the prescriptions of the Jewish purity laws. Many of them were undoubtedly holy men, and they were generally respected by the people for their holiness and their refusal to cooperate with the occupying Romans. Some Pharisees, however, became legalistic and judgmental in their attitude toward those who did not meet their standards. These set themselves up in opposition to Jesus and his followers. They may also have been jealous when the despised tax collectors and sinners were drawn to Jesus and his gospel of mercy.

This Sunday’s parable can more accurately called the parable of the forgiving father, since he is can be seen as the main figure in the story. Just as God the Father is always ready to let us exercise our free will and go our own ways, in his mercy and compassion he is more than ready to be on the lookout for the least sign of our returning in repentance to him, and welcoming us home. As Jesus teaches earlier in this chapter, “there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7,11).


  1. What stages does the younger son go through on his pilgrimage (verses 13-16)? What brings him to his senses? What does he realize then? With what sort of attitude does he approach his father? How does the father receive his son? Why?
  2. How does the older brother feel about the younger brother’s return? Why? How does the father answer the older brother’s objections (verse 29)?
  3. What’s Jesus’ point with this parable? What does this story teach about sin, repentance and God’s love? What does the First Reading tell us about God’s care for us and his solicitude to carry us through trials and temptations to the end?
  4. Comparing yourself to the two brothers in this parable, who are you most like? Why? How have you experienced God as similar to this father?
  5. Consider verse 31: What does God have to give you that you have not taken?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

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  • Who were coming to listen to Jesus?
  • What were the Pharisees and Scribes saying?
  • In the story of the Prodigal Son, what does the younger son do?
  • What is the reaction of the Father when his son returns to him?
  • What is the reaction of the older brother?
  • What point is Jesus trying to make with this story?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  1. Who do you think the father represents in the parable of the prodigal son?
  2. How do you celebrate your return to God after you have done something wrong?
  3. Who are the people in your life that show you God’s forgiving love?
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings


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SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

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1. Share with the group or person next to you what spoke to you most in the Gospel. With this first question, try to refrain from commenting on what others said. Just share what spoke to you and then move on to the next person.

2. In the first reading, the Israelites experience a huge transition moment in their lives. They are transformed from being an enslaved and desert people to citizens in their own land. What is the biggest transition you have had to negotiate in your life? What helped you to successfully move through that time?

3. A part of being a “new creation” is learning to be an “ambassador of reconciliation.” How have you been such an ambassador? How can you be a minister of reconciliation?

4. Have you ever been like the younger son? What transformed you?

5. How can we be like the older son in the story? What kind of conversion is asked of us? 6. What is the one thing Jesus is saying to us in this Sunday’s Gospel about how a disciple should speak or act?

SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

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1. The man healed of his blindness now can see things that those who always had their sight cannot see. What do people of faith see that remains unseen to people who have no faith? What progress have you experienced in your faith? Can you see and understand things now that you could not before even though you have always had faith? Can you explain the progression in your faith?

2. Were there times in your experience when you felt like an outsider? Were there times when you did not even feel loved by your own family members? Were there times when even your faith community was not supportive of you? Have you had the experience of having been sought out by Christ for personal reassurance and consolation? How did Christ reach out to you? Were there people in this?

3. Can you list some of the “blindness” which still afflicts our society, the world in which we live? Is there some “blindness” even in the Church community? What would you like to see healed by Jesus so that your environment might be more faithful to God’s purposes? Do you, perhaps, have a role in that healing?

SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

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Pointers for Prayer

1. Like many a parable, this story makes its point in what seems to be unfair: the spendthrift son is rewarded and the elder son is hurt and angry. Jesus is telling us that love is a free gift, not something we earn by our goodness. This is true of human love, and is also true of God’s love. When have you experienced this truth in the love you have received from others? When has the experience of human love prompted you to reflect on God’s love for you?

2. After some time the younger son “came to himself ” and returned home. Where and when have you experienced a homecoming after a time of exile and alienation? What helped you to come to yourself and make that journey home?

3. The older son resented the welcome given to the younger son after his wandering and dissolute life. This contrasts with the welcome the father gave the younger son. Perhaps you have experienced these differing attitudes in yourself. What were they like for you? Where was there life for you or for others?


Reflections by Bishop Jim Golka

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