Inheritance Customs

This coming Sunday is the 4th Sunday in Lent, Year C: the Prodigal Son. The parable, the longest in the Gospels, consists of three main parts: (1) the departure of the younger son to a distant land where he squanders his inheritance (vv.11-19), (2) the homecoming of the son and welcome by his father (vv.20-24), and (3) the episode between the father and the older son who stayed at home (vv.25-32).  How this parable differs from the two preceding it is that what is lost is a human person – one who has existing human relationships with his father and his brother – and whose relationship gets tangled up in the oldest of family squabbles: inheritance. Continue reading