We have already begun the Lenten Triodion last Sunday with the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. Today we hear the Gospel of Saint Luke chapter 15 verses 11 thru 32, the story of the Prodigal Son.
As we have all heard over the years it is a story of a father and his two sons. The Parable concentrates on a runaway son who after squandering his inheritance comes to his senses and returns home. The other son, who had worked the land, toiling throughout this time, becomes somewhat angry and resentful that his father treats the returning son with all these accolades and honors knowing full well the son was wrong. But that doesn’t matter to the father who says, “…let us celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead, and is alive again, he was lost and now found”.
You see, the central and most attractive figure in this parable is the Father, who loves both of his sons unconditionally. He loves each of his sons because each is his son, a part of him, not just in a physical sense but also in a personal and spiritual way.
For if he were to lose the one, he would lose part of himself, and if the other son would remain angry or resentful of the returning brother then the father would be equally unhappy. You see in his love, the father reaches out to do everything in his power for their benefit without violating their personal freedom.
So in conclusion let me say that there is nothing the sons could do that would make him stop loving them! Thus before us, through this parable, is an icon of God’s love for us! Jesus wants to teach us through this parable that God’s supreme joy is to have us abide with Him as His sons and daughters in true repentance.