By f. Christos Aegidis
Every year this day, when the Parable of Prodigal Son is read, I remember a dialogue I had many years ago with a friend who could not gasp the behavior of the younger son from the Parable.
To put it short, she argued that the Prodigal Son acted shrewdly and that the Father’s behavior was unfair to the eldest son of the family.
In other words, the return of the Prodigal Son was devious…
Let’s think about this a little bit.
First of all, we must point out that the Prodigal Son does not return to his home, turned out to be right, like the Publican from the parable, read last Sunday.
He returns ashamed and humiliated.
He does not return with rights, preconditions or demands. He returns begging his father to accept him back as a servant rather than as a son.
The way back is definitely difficult. It requires boldness, courage, determination.
Repentance is accompanied by courage, but it is wretched if it includes audacity.
In this case, it is not about repentance but another wrong choice, a failure.
It is true that we often are full of audacity in sin and empty of boldness in repentance.
Or we may have courage in mistakes and complex in return.
In the back of our minds, we may take for granted Father’s mercy, no matter if we know sin is absurd and we are insane and unhappy with a sinful lifestyle.
Repentance is neither unconditional nor easy.
Recognizing the mistake, humbling yourself by accepting it and trying, with all our strength, not to repeat are the basic preconditions for our return.
Within this context, there is no room for audacity or selfishness.
Still, repentance requires a heart full of valiance, not bravado.
During our lifetime we are often in the position of the Prodigal Son.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the difficult position of the Elder Son.
Finally, we may find ourselves in the position of the Father.
It is up to us to decide what attitude we will keep, which road and example we will follow…
I wish you a safe journey back home, Fathers and brothers.