The Prodigal Father Some have said that the Prodigal Son story in the Gospel of Luke (15:11-32) is more rightly called the Prodigal Father story. It’s based on the definition of “Prodigal”:
1. spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant 2. having or giving something on a lavish scale.
We are usually thinking of the first definition when we think of the prodigal son who “devoured” his inheritance “with harlots”, but the second definition fits the merciful father. The “Prodigal Father” is lavish in mercy for his son. He does not scold or humiliate his son, instead he rolls out the red carpet of forgiveness, restoring his dignity as beloved son. This is the prodigality of the father.
A second consideration based on the first definition applies to our selves and the ways in which we may have not been the fathers that we are called to be in our families and our parishes. Perhaps we have been reckless, not taking our role as seriously as it deserves. Fatherhood is in crisis in our culture. What will restore it? A return to the Father of all, “from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” (Eph. 3:15) Our upcoming Seattle Catholic Men’s Conference, April 14th, will speak to our need to know the Prodigal Father who longs to lavish us with his grace and mercy. Nemo dat quod non habet (we can’t give what we ain’t got). Let us receive from the Father what we need to hand on to our families, our church, and our world. -Fr. Ed White, St. Stephen the Martyr
St. Stephen the Martyr Church in Renton, WA will be hosting the 6th Annual Seattle Catholic Men's Conference April 14, 2018. Fr. Ed White is our host pastor for this year's conference.