This poor man lucked out with neither of his sons.
He loved them both and they both were goofs. The first was too wild, the second was too rigid and nasty. Neither one appreciated their father’s love. Both tried to exploit him. What’s more he knew they were exploiting him.
This is not a story of a prodigal son, but of an indulgent father, indeed of a hyper-indulgent father. Note that he runs to meet the first son and cuts off his phony speech. Note too that he is incredibly patient with the mean-spirited and ungrateful second son.
This story is not supposed to provide a model for family life. Rather it tells us that God loves us like the indulgent father, so much that by human standards, he’s quite over the top
Fr. Greeley's Last Book:
Once there were two teenagers whose parents went away for the weekend. As some teenagers do, they decided they would have a party. You know the rest. A couple hundred people showed up. They drank all the family liquor, trashed the house, tore up the garden, wrecked the family cars, burned down the garage, smashed the windows in the neighboring homes, rioted when the police came, and even threw beer cans on the rectory lawn (Really!).
When the parents came home to find the national guard patrolling their streets, they said to their children, “You shouldn’t have done that.” Why not, said the kids. You went away it’s your fault, not ours. You should have never trusted us.
But the parents loved their children so much that they weren’t angry at them.
That’s the way God love us.
Gospel Reading: Jn 3:14-21
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