THE REPROACH OF EGYPT
The Hebrews spend their first night in the Promised Land. After Moses' death, Joshua took command and led the people across the Jordan river. The first order of business is that all those who have not been circumcised must have the rite performed. Apparently this ritual had not been done in Egypt, hence the word "reproach". With this act finished the Hebrews can now celebrate their first Passover in Canaan (Palestine). The manna--a sort of honey--that fed them in the desert no longer flows.
THE PRODIGAL, THE VINDICTIVE AND THE PROVIDENT
Today's Gospel passage is usually known as the parable of the Prodigal Son. A more fitting title might be the parable of the Prodigal and the Vindictive Sons. Prodigal means "wastefully extravagant". It aptly fits the young man who wants his father's legacy before the father dies. He acts foolishly and shows no regard for the survival of his family. His brother is no less blameless. While he has worked for his father, his words suggest that his motives were not exactly pure. His vindictiveness against his brother also indicates his base character.
The real hero of the story is the provident father. He loves both his sons, despite their flaws. In the boys, we see the extremes of human failure. In the father, we see God.
© 2000 by Father Richard Lonsdale. You may freely copy this document. It may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.
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