The story of the prodigal son is a familiar one, and is often held up as an encouragement to repentance, to return to God, accept God’s forgiveness and receive the love that has been ours from the beginning. But people who are taking the time to read a scripture reflection and to reflect themselves on the words of scripture are not likely in as lowly a state as the prodigal
Joshua 5:9a,10-12; Psalm 34; 2 Corinthians 5:1721; Luke 15:1-3,11-32
one: “He longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.”
We may, in fact, identify more with the older one, the son who had stayed at home and served obediently, yet never had anyone offered him even a goat to share among his friends. If our life as disciples is joyless and without fun and celebration, we have no one to blame but ourselves. As the father says to his older son, “You are here with me always; everything I have is yours.”
We may sometimes look longingly at all the attention given to candidates and catechumens who are coming into the church at this time, wondering why they get all the attention — but everything the church has is ours already, and how many of us take advantage of it?
How are you like the older brother in your relationship with God and with the church?