Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus.
2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying,
“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”3So Jesus told them this parable:
11b“There was a man who had two sons.
12The younger of them said to his father,
‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’So the father divided his property between them.
13A few days later the younger son gathered all he had
and traveled to a distant country,
and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.14When he had spent everything,
a severe famine took place throughout that country,
and he began to be in need.
15So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country,
who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.
16He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating;
and no one gave him anything.
17But when he came to himself he said,
‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare,
but here I am dying of hunger!
18I will get up 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 like one of your hired hands.”’20So he set off and went to his father.
But while he was still far off,
his father saw him and was filled with compassion;
his father ran and put his arms around his son and kissed him.
21Then 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 slaves,
‘Quickly, bring out a robe—
the best one—
and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23And get the fatted calf and kill it,
and let us eat and celebrate;
24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again;
he was lost and is found!’
And they began to celebrate.
25“Now the elder son was in the field;
and when he came and approached the house,
he heard music and dancing.
26He called one of the slaves
and asked what was going on.
‘Your brother has come,
and your father has killed the fatted calf,
because he has got him back safe and sound.’
28Then the elder son became angry
and refused to go in.
His father came out and began to plead with him.
29But he answered his father,
For all these years I have been working like a slave for you,
and I have never disobeyed your command;
yet you have never given me even a young goat
so that I might celebrate with my friends.
30But when this son of yours came back,
who has devoured your property with prostitutes,
you killed the fatted calf for him!’
31Then the father said to him,
‘Son, you are always with me,
and all that is mine is yours.
32But we had to celebrate and rejoice,
because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life;
he was lost and has been found.’”
Queeries for the text:
Who are sinners? How does cultural context matter?
Why would the son ask for his dad's share of the estate?
Why would the son leave?
What is dissolute living?
Why didn't anyone give the younger son anything to eat?
Is the prodigal son also Schrödinger's son? Which son is prodigal?
Why didn't the elder child go in and check on the party himself?
What's the difference between a hired hand and a slave? Can a son actually "work like a slave"?
How does the elder know what what younger the younger did? Why does he assume he knows?
What does the mother think?
What would this story be like with different genders?
What are your queeries?