September 14, 2013

24th Sunday - C

Luke 15: 1-32

“My Son”

The younger son first wants to be away from his father.  He does not want to be a son.  He gives up his sonship for material possessions.

When he returns, he is willing to trade his sonship for food and becomes a hired worker.

To the father, however, no matter what the younger son has done, he is always a son. Speaking to the servants, who for sure know what the boy has done, the father refers to him as “this son of mine.”

Interestingly, the younger son still addresses his father as father.  Yet, in the parable, the father never speaks directly to him.

The older son, on the other hand, does not address the father as “father.”  He begins his complaint with the disrespectful command, “Look.”   And he sees himself as a slave in his own house. 

The father speaks directly to him, the son who is actually more distant from him than the younger brother.  And he begins with the endearing expression “my son.” [1]

In our relationship with God, at times, even often, we see ourselves as slaves, hired workers, or whatever else.  But with God, we are always “my child, my son, my daughter.” 

And isn’t Jesus telling those who question the mercy of God that the more distant we are from God, the dearer we are to the loving Father?


[1] In the original Greek, the word used here is the endearing (“affectionate”) “τέκνον,” translated in the English version as “my son.”  In other places throughout the parable, when the word “son” appears, it is the generic noun “υἱὸς.” This word “υἱὸς” is used even when the younger son says to his father upon his return, “I no longer deserve to be called your son”  (verses 19 & 21). (;

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