The Story of the Good Father
Then Jesus said:
A man had two sons. When the younger told his father, "I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die!" his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there wasted all his money on parties and prostitutes. About the time his money was gone a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the swine looked good to him. And no one gave him anything.
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, "At home even the hired men have food enough and to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, 'Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.' "
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming, and was filled with loving pity and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am not worthy of being called your son—"
But his father said to the slaves, "Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found." So the party began. Luke 15:11-32
Character of God
Jesus tells us this story to illustrate something about God's character. Many people call this the story of the prodigal son, but wiser men have said it is the story of the good Father. After the younger son basically tells his loving father to die so that he could get his inheritance, the Father does not withhold even this from his son. The father wants the son to love him, but does not force him. A loving son by force is no son at all. The son wants things, so things is what he got. And these things didn't fulfill him.
Rest in God
St. Augustine said that our hearts are restless until they find rest in God. This is what the prodigal son discovered. Being in his Father's house was much better than "having the world" yet missing out the most important.
Its about me
We can find ourselves in this story. Either we are the prodigal (at any stage in his journey) or we are the older brother, who, being constantly in the presence of the Father, forgets what blessings he has and only longs for the so-called-life his brother is trying to escape. Those in the church most often find it most difficult to be contented with life in the church, thinking that the grass is definitely greener in those pig sty's.
Where am I
May we always remember that no matter where we are in our faith journey, that the Father is waiting for us with open arms. Just waiting to run to us, when we realize our need of Him.