The parable of the Prodigal Son or the Forgiving Father or the Unforgiving Brother is a parable about two sons that are living the life of a slave in their Father’s world. The younger son equated his son-ship with his father’s gifts or his inheritance. Consequently when he squandered his inheritance he thought he had squandered his self or his being or his son-ship. To believe that we are what we own or possess is to sell ourselves short and to live the life of a slave. The younger son never really came to his senses, because he still considers himself a slave and goes to his father as a slave to seek his forgiveness. Sin makes us incapable of enjoying our lives as children of God and proposes a life of a slave as an alternative way of living for God’s children, and we sometimes blindingly accept.
The second son was no better. He was a slave in his Father’s house. He found the celebration of life something that can be enjoyed only when his father is gone. He was afraid of his Father. For him, to be a good son is to be a slave. The Father reminded both sons that they are his children not his slaves. To the first son, he gave a ring, a robe and a kiss; all symbols of son-ship; and to the second son he gave a reminder, “all that is mine belong to you,” He was making him to realize that he does not need permission to be his son.
Today we are reminded that the creator of our world is our father. If this is true, which it is, are we living the life of a son or a daughter or are we living the life of a slave? Do we live as if everything that the Father has belongs to us or are we still asking for permission to be who we already are – God’s children?
May God give us the grace to live like children in our Father’s house and not like slaves in our boss’s farm. May God bless you all.