As you ponder this story consider what it means for you.
In the Gospel story of The Prodigal Son from last Sunday,
the son ventured into the unknown
decisions based on reckless need
living at risk away from the protection of family
living with severed connections.
Seeing the error of ways and lonely, the son wants to return,
Travels the homeward journey with fear and heavy heart.
His father does not hesitate to open arms and heart
Does not require explanation,
Is not punitive or exacting,
Calls for celebration seeing the clear depths of his son’s need.
The older brother angry- not fair
He has been loyal and true
He has continued his rightful role and steady diligence
He is resentful judging his loyalty as now being not enough.
The party prepared, the father joyous and prodigal in his giving
The son received and grateful
The older son not prepared to give up his edge of resentment.
The father aware and says – You are with me always- all I have is yours.
The story does not present us with a conclusion. It has finished without resolution.
It is a story of the inner drama of the soul and of radical trust. It is a story of generosity beyond perception or expectation. This is a story of family.
How will the elder son face that he is loved beyond measure, that the father also loves his brother without measure, that the measure of love just simply raises? We don’t have the answer. But, we are urged in our turn to be generous, to celebrate when others return and find peace.
The conversion of the one who has stayed home is equal to the conversion of the one who has travelled far. The conversion of the father is abiding, deep as a seam of compassion, understanding pertaining to the nobility of the holy one.
I pray that this holiday period is a time of rest and renewal for all in our St Joseph’s community. I ask that we keep in our prayers our staff and students travelling to Japan on the Languages trip and our staff involved in an immersion experience in the Philippines.