The Prodigal Son is the model for today’s penitent

WITHOUT A TRACE OF WEAKNESS or imprudence, the father, in the parable of the Prodigal Son gives his sons a part of their inheritance.  The younger son had requested that this be done; and when he had received his share, he set out for another country.  There he squandered his wealth.  When a famine struck this land, there was nothing for him to do other than to tend swine.  Among the Jews this was the most ignoble occupation a man could have.  These swine were fed the fruit of the carob tree, which was a pod so unpleasant to taste that even the poorest of people would not eat them; yet this boy had so little to eat that he would gladly have eaten what the swine ate, if the keepers had allowed it.

The boy repented of all that he had done and started for home; where he intended to ask his father’s forgiveness and for a place among the hired servants.  The Gospel gives ample detail of the warm welcome the boy received and the signs of honor that were given to him.

If it should ever be our misfortune to take our substance, the gifts of God in our nature and through His grace, and go to a place far from God, into the state of serious sin, we have the word of God that He is anxious to welcome us home and to make us His well-beloved sons.  He will clothe us once again with innocence through Confession and Holy Communion.

Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today”  The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959 © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and  Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953.  Print.

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