A story of self-discovery and restoration

The story of a young man who asked his father for his portion of the estate, left home, and then wasted his inheritance in "riotous living" is related in Luke's Gospel. Christ Jesus' parable is a powerful story of self-discovery and restoration. The young man had determined to go it alone. Soon he found he was alone, hungry, and with no family or friends to help him out. He was reduced to feeding pigs. The gospel narrative tells us that at this lowest point in his experience "he came to himself."

This self-awareness led him back to his father to ask for forgiveness. He was greeted joyfully by his father, who restored to him his sonship, saying to the servants: "Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:...for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found." The ring represented his father's love. But with his sonship restored came also a higher responsibility and obligation to act as a loved son.

Seedbeds for renewal
March 30, 1992

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