I have a confession to make. After introducing (on August 3!) what I promised would be the first of a series of articles about the parable of the Prodigal Son, I faltered. I developed a psychological and spiritual paralysis, and for that I apologize. I felt it was beyond my ability to express, and it is. What I forgot was, it’s not about me. It’s the Holy Spirit who taps my keyboard.
So here is the next consideration: the youngest son and his leave-taking–that kid who was so self-absorbed that all he thought about was his share of his loving father’s inheritance and all the pleasure, all the fun things he could enjoy with it.
His request of his father: “Give me what’s going to come to me now, I don’t want to wait for it any longer,” was the equivalent of saying, “You’re living too long, Dad. I wish you were dead. I want my money now.” Yikes!
That is what sin is, saying “I don’t want to belong to you anymore. I don’t want to have anything to do with you.” Just to prove his point, he went to a distant country–he got as far away as he could so that there would be no confusion in the mind of his father.
Isn’t it true that our culture bids us to always look for something better? The boy-man denied that he belonged to the father and lived out his own version of the sin of Adam and Eve: “I can do it myself. I can do it on my own.”
A lot of times when we read this gospel passage, we focus on the sins the son committed–wasting his fortune on prostitutes and debauchery! But the greater sin was this–that he left his father.
I don’t want this to be too long, so I’ll continue next post. In case you need to refresh your memory on this wonderful parable that Jesus shared, you will find it in its entirety in my previous post.
Thank you. Have a blessed week.
Based on notes I took during a Parish Mission offered by Father Patrick Mowrer.