Luke 15:11-32 And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.
[Note: These reflections/expressions are not, of course, all-inclusive – for not even a book could cover/honor the full extent (and power) of His sharing (gift) – through only one short story.]
This is but one of many paramount examples (for us/to us) of models, morals, greater pictures, teaching, and of guidance (if accepted). Moreover, it was another brief (yet phenomenal) moment in the earthly life of Jesus Christ. How could a simple man have moved small and, eventually, broad masses by way of (among others) telling parables – where people were converted, (with questions regarding “mysteries,” but) without doubts, both during the actual (“noble”) hearing, as well as after (to the present day)? Within proper focuses, wherein one is seeking, beyond the chains of a physical body/mind, that he or she may be truly open – the same is possible now. Still, and as ongoing evidence of the most pristine natures, though those openings may even be closed, the possibilities of a converting discovery remain (and are often fulfilled, as they were then). Watch. Read. Listen – (Imagine) while leaving the world behind. Become the Prodigal Son (in Spirit). Experience his journey, at that time – then return, where transference allows circumstantial culminations at this time. Learn the lessons. And when you come back, you may find yourself in another (present) place, another light, and at a new door.
What did/does this father represent? In having built a legacy not only sufficient for himself, but also for passing on to heirs, he had obviously achieved success. That accomplishment, however, was (crucially) evident as one attained without being overtaken by earthly enticements. As (a) their teacher, his sons were taught (incrementally) – to first follow, then learn – to be (altruistically) led as they grew learned – before attempts at teaching. As (a) their provider, virtues were among the most important provisions (good work, patience, moderation, perseverance, trust) – that they may be fulfilled, first – before attempts at providing. As (a) their guide, wisdom (clarity, higher strengths, gifts, and rewards) was shared, in stages, that they may become wise, first – before attempts at leading.
Whereas one son reflected maturity (the father’s directions embraced, without significant falter), the younger succumbed to tests of faith: “[G]ive me [my] share [now].” Therein, though already (virtually) having more within touch (and eventual reach) than most could imagine (a house with servants, which would be considered a mansion, a beneficent and prosperous family, abundant resources, honorable hierarchal occupations, and expectations of ultimately receiving at least half of all resting on the foundation), he failed in cores – giving in to temptation.
While being led, there were always choices. Through (pathways of/to) trust, attaining enough comparative knowledge was possible, as offered (taught) – where the pitfalls of (recovering from) literal experience could be unnecessary: One may learn (of) the evils of riches innocently, while rich (or becoming), and resistantly overcome them as weighted lures. Or, one may learn (of) those evils ignorantly, via surroundings of birth with resultant (and chosen) tactile tainting, then struggle (tenfold) at critically belated junctures to reel in embedded anchors. Conclusively, one may also become the richest person in the world while rebuking – without having, or ever having had considerable money (or even a comfortable/acceptable place to live), thus, by way of creative provisions and guides, realize those bonds, yet (ultimately) bypass any lingering/threatening burdens (of tangible tarnishing).
For an essential period (childhood to the brink of manhood), the prodigal son experienced (advantaged) innocence. For the next, though substantial benefits for growth were always present, he relented to (chose) ignorance. Consequently, excesses deriving and satisfying from the lowest worldly and spiritual levels awaited. Instead of, for example, joining with a wholesome wife who principally sustained (a best friend, soul mate, an all-encompassing supporter, fundamental as well as erotic lover, and future mother), the possibility was also there to enjoy the exploitations of a long line of varied women – to be seduced by the power of being able to indulge any seductions, at whims.
Instead of sharing a rich roof, indefinitely, with a family (others), an impetuous partitioning of the riches within could release doors to selfish singularities. Where the previous protection collectively rewarded presents, incrementally (holding out increasingly more for futures), a divided covering could immediately bestow, individually. And that, if not turned away as a cycle, originates needs which must be continuously fed – for those new needs (desirous beyond balances) can only be filled momentarily. Along those paths, each indulgent endeavor will become more and more fleeting – as escalating emptiness ever-encroaches. As with hunger and thirst, if related callings are constantly answered with sweets and wine each void will temporarily close, yet any lifting will also become exponentially fugitive: instead of nourishing, constant gorging; instead of quenching, ever-deeper drowning. And that, after having cycled through available circles, is where he awoke – “starving to death” and dry.
When all means are used/accessed without forethought, upon facing fated or chanced famines why would one expect welcoming tables or pitchers? Therein, where compulsions were reduced to the bottom degrees of survival, his suffering then coincided (unpreparedly) with the poor’s incessant trials: To know the world’s weight, and to be broken by it – though maintaining last vestiges of spirit; to know a few others in the same vein have even triumphantly elevated theirs; to know no advantage – other than realizing the perseverance it takes for them to trudge onward (without crossing over to darkest sides), thus coming to understand passages via harshest terms: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Those are among the points where remorse, if true (refreshingly selfless and learnedly reviving), can reward with cleansing evolution: meekness.
From there, his center belatedly aware (literally), he chose a return – in hopes of mercy, that upon arrival he may only gain acceptance as one of the “servants”: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ Remorse revealed and meekness sealed, he was immediately astonished:
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine . . . was lost and is found.’
As a result, further revelations followed. Where astonishment encountered compassion, it was also corresponding with a welcoming of ongoing development. This not only applied to the prodigal son, but the older brother as well. Was the younger allowed to leave (in love), yet, with the deepest desire that he would return – as the child, and man, the father always wanted him to (cumulatively) be? Was a call for celebration also reflective of an end to anguish? Toward the latter and former, the father was still teaching, providing, and guiding. In response to anger (‘All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.’): ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we [must be] glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again.’ (Do not judge; understand.) In response to the possibility of losing a son to the other side being finally answered: triumphant joy and unforgettable forgiveness. (One may steadily progress on discovering paths if always seeking enlightening answers; upon each provoking turn, never cease in properly searching “why” – for that is a central key.)
Spiritual: The Father (and His Children)
In fuller extent (and ultimate power), what can/should this Father also represent (underlying and overall)? : the spiritual. What was created (built) and balanced by One? How much of the legacy was then shared (with heirs), altruistically – before the Gifts were betrayed? Yet still, even after the fall, Free Will remained – where the most relative choices were offered as invitations toward ongoing lessons. Within those possibilities, all sons and daughters, as progressive children, could reach maturity (and successively pure rewards), in stages – after enduring implicit or precise tests. Along the beginning and ending lines, many have been overcome. Along the same lines, many have also returned – in and from battles, after and until overcoming. Of these passages it may be undoubtedly known: Should (even) one of His offspring become Lost, there are fountains of tears. And, should (even) one of them find his or her way home, they will become Found — in the most flowing streams.
A Begotten Son
Again, it was only one short story/parable. But, as (historical and current) movements clearly convey, in a matter of a few moments He was able to enhance risings, within and without, then, just as He is succeeding today. Presentations, seemingly basic (initially), were often shared – that each could be touched by highest complexity. Promises were given – that the blind could see. Miracles took hold – that the bound (to certain death) could be freed.