Friday, January 23, 2009


The parable of the prodigal son {Luke 15:11-32} exemplifies the infinite love of our Heavenly Father and His deep concern for the transformation of a sinner. An evangelist commended that the parable does not mention about the mother of the prodigal son. She may have died in his infancy and that gap might have caused his ill-fate.

The younger son may be considered to have attended three retreats. The first two were ineffective but the last was really remarkable and transformed him totally.

His loving father led the first retreat. His loving words and affectionate actions could not change the ways of the son. The second attempt was by the elder son. His timely directions and exemplary obedience to their father could not influence the younger son. The prodigal son proceeded along the disastrous path.

The third retreat was by a TEAM OF PIGS in the sty. The pigs did not utter any meaningful sound but they silently conveyed a strong message that instilled the spirit of repentance in him.

The parable teaches us that it is not the scholarship or eloquence of the preacher or the musical talents of his team that transforms a person during a retreat. Transformation and the atmosphere suitable for it are the generous Gifts of God. One's response in the new situation decides his fate. St. Peter denied Jesus while Judas Iscariot betrayed Him. Both were in comparable situations after Christ was captured. St. Peter, with real repentance, was transformed and became the foundation of the Church but the desperate Judas, haunted by feelings of guilt, denied God's Grace and killed himself.


By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India.

This is story No.93 in this site. Please click ‘older posts’ at bottom of page to read previous stories.

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