THE FATHER SHOWED GREAT COMPASSION WHEN HE SAW HIS SON AND RAN TO MEET HIM
RETURNING HOME TO THE FATHER
The father of the prodigal son wasn’t the least bit interested in hearing where his younger son had strayed or how he had wasted his life and inheritance; he was just happy to see his son return home from wandering in the wilderness.
He set no condition for his boy to enter the house, nor for the elder sibling. It was the father’s desire that both sons should enter his house, their home.
When war rages, parents want their sons and daughters to return home from battle in one piece. That is their prayer. As the war continues and they see that some kids don’t make it back, the prayer changes and becomes less conditional: “Just bring them home… crippled or not, wounded or not, maimed or not, alcoholic or not, priest or not; we just want our kids to come back, and we will accept and still love them, whatever condition they are in.”
Unlike Thomas who insisted that Jesus show his wounds, the father in the parable of the two sons had no need to make demands in this way.
The younger son suffered “because of his own poor choices and habits”. The elder sibling suffered because he was unable to love his brother in the way that the father loved both sons. Yet neither son was rejected by their father.