The Prodigal Son
Works of art by Andrew Peter Santhanaraj, Frank Wesley, and S. Jayaraj
Commentaries by Anand Amaladass SJ
Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons; 12and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. 13Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. 14And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. 15So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. 17But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ 20And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; 23and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; 24for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.
25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. 27And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ 28But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. 30But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ 31And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ ”