The Prodigal Son
This parable shows us how to be Christian. The father in the parable has two sons, and at certain times we are one or the other.
We can sometimes be like the younger son, who in taking his share of the inheritance and living prodigally, is when we fall into sin. The solution to the problem is also shown in this parable when the son humbled himself and returned to the father. We too must humble ourselves, repent, cease from sin, and return to our Heavenly Father.
At other times, we can be like the older son who stayed with the father. He, despite remaining at home and dutifully obeying his father, became jealous and envious because of his pride. He showed how little love he had for his younger brother, when at the moment of his return after many years, his first thoughts were of his own importance. The parable reminds us that we should not be jealous of those around us and we should not have pride for any reason.
This can be difficult for us Christians, especially those of us who regularly attend Church Services, when we see people who do not conform to the same standards of behaviour or dress or any other standard we might hold dear. We are told, both here and elsewhere in the Gospels, not to judge one another.
Instead, we are called to be like the father in this parable. We are to allow people their freedom, but at the same time we always seek their return to the fold and rejoice when it happens. We too love all equally without judgment.
In short, we are called to imitate God. What we see in the two sons are examples of traps to avoid on our path of imitation and ways by which we might pick ourselves up when we fall.
Source: Lychnos February/March 2018