The Prodigal Son – part 4

The Episode Between the Father and the Older Son Who Stayed at Home.

This is a post that continues the thought in an earlier post today about our Sunday gospel focusing on the parable of the Prodigal Son. At this point, the younger son has returned home from his misadventures and prodigal lifestyle and has been welcomed by the father. Continue reading

The Prodigal Son – part 3

The Beginning of the Return

This coming weekend is the 24th Sunday of Ordinary Time. In yesterday’s post we started our look into the the longer, more detailed parable of the Prodigal Son.

17 Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.  The conversion begins in the muck and mud of the pigpen. It is there that he “came to himself.” While there is ambiguity in the moment, the trajectory of the story points to the moment of coming to point of desire to return home – the place where he has a place to be whom God calls him to be.  The moment shows the human capacity to renounce foolishness, to begin anew to reclaim one’s heritage and potential. Calamity finally brings him to his senses. He understands that he has no claim on his father and no right to be called son.  But if not a son, then he will return to his home as a hired servant. He carefully rehearses his speech: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”

He is not seeking to reclaim what he has renounced. Yet he knows that he, in any condition or circumstance, returns to the Father and his father. It is a classic penitential moment: address, confession, contrition, and a petition of healing. After “coming to himself,” he rises and returns to his father. At this point in the narrative the focus shifts to his father Continue reading