Some parables are so familiar to us we can assume we know all the lessons they teach. In the parable of the two sons and the loving father, the foolish younger son, the prodigal, wastes his fortune on “wine, women and song.” When he is penniless and hungry he “comes to his senses” and returns to his forgiving, loving father. The obedient, hard-working son is, understandably, angry and refuses to come to the welcome home party.Today, when we read the parable beside the passage from Corinthians, “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away…” I wonder what would have occurred had the parable continued. Neither son is admirable. Both act out of selfish motives. The prodigal son returns home only when he is dying from hunger, although he does have enough humility to acknowledge his sinfulness. The older son resents his father’s generous, loving acceptance of his brother, even welcoming him home with a party, but who has never thrown a party for him, the “good” son.
What would it mean for each of them to let old things pass away and become a new creation? Would the younger son go out into the field, ask forgiveness of his brother, promise to work beside him and beg him to come to the celebration? Would the older son forgive his brother, weep with him, and come in to the party? During these last weeks of Lent, what old resentments, judgments, complaints do I need to let pass away? What does it take for me to be “a new creation” in Christ?
Sr. Marie Lucey
FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Relations