Who are we today? Prodigal son, prodigal father, or the older brother?

Saturday of the 2nd week of Lent, based on Luke 15:1-3,11-32

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

  So he told them this parable:

  Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ’ So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

  “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’”

Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “Who are we today? Prodigal son, prodigal father, or the older brother?

  1. Father what a delightful image you bring to us with this Homily. Even the heading was stirring enough to make me go back a day or two and listen when I could give my full attention. It is very fitting for me at the moment trying to help a nephew that I’ve never met on the other side of Australia. He recently lost his father after a long battle with Cancer and his mother only a few months previously, thank God he was able to make peace with his father and look after him for a few weeks before he passed away. The rest of our large family don’t want to know him, however, with me, perhaps he feels that he is starting with a clean slate and not being judged for his serious error of judgement for the first 21 years of his life.
    I have felt for the past few weeks since losing my brother that if I can be of help by listening at the end of the telephone line, and knowing that I pray for him maybe it possibly will give him the assurance that someone cares and is hoping that he can turn his life around.
    I thank you for your words today, and was thrilled that I heard you at UST in Manila last October as I joined with the Asia/Pacific Lay Dominican Leaders for our Conference, as an Australian. I appreciate this opportunity to listen and share. To Christ through St. Dominic

  2. Thank you very much June for your comment. I will keep your nephew in my prayers, that the Holy Spirit will enable him to ‘come to himself’. Manila was a joyful experience, wasn’t it, which still echoes! God bless and pray for me too. fr Vivian

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