Sunday, September 12, 2010

Suck it up buttercup

This post comes from my reflection experience on Luke's gospel 15:11-32.

I looked at these verses from the perspective of the likely traits of that day's society and from several angles as well and found differing emotions as I imagined myself as the different member participants in the parable.

As the Prodigal I felt the shame and sorrow associated with the insanity of the actions taken by this young man. I can imagine the torment and fear of returning to my father after my folly.

I spent some time as the elder brother and found a great anger and resentment welling up.

As the servant who was appointed to care for the returning son I felt an odd mixture of feelings that I couldn't really put into words, I think mostly a bewildered set of emotions ( I'm male so I haven't put a lot of time into the discovery of emotions).

I also placed myself in the role of an observer, which yielded still another set of emotions, a curious sort of pity for the son and an almost indignant feeling toward the father for disrupting the status-quo of the day. This is a Jewish family after all and by rights the son would normally be disowned. So for this father to welcome this renegade son is not a kosher deed in the eyes of that society.

As the father I related to the anguish and concern that a parent goes through when a child goes astray from what I would rather have the child follow. I could also feel a great happiness at his return and that mixed with a growing sense of urgency to have this young man looked after and nursed back to health. Another emotion I felt that I'm not sure of, but it may be pity or something related to the sense of urgency.

As a spiritual exercise, it was a very enriching experience to go through.


  1. This is one of my favourite ways of reading the gospels, putting myself into the parable. It's amazing what you learn about yourself and God! Great post thanks for sharing it

  2. This is a great exercise and I really liked that you shared your feelings from each angle....If I did this with people as well as with Scripture, I think that I would react differently than I usually do.....

    You have definitely given me things to ponder today...

  3. ahhh the good prodigal son/daughter!I can't remember how many times I had to pray with that scripture during retreat! And the feelings that came up was always surprising...even after all the times I prayed with it!!!! I should re-read some of my reflections!!! Just for old time sake!