This will be the second time this year (or third, for daily mass attendees) that many of us will hear the parable of the two lost sons (or the "prodigal son") in this year. It comes up in Year C on the fourth Sunday of Lent, and again on a Lenten weekday, and it comes up in late Ordinary Time, the 24th Sunday, which is coming up this Sunday.
And I thought that, in order to get ready to hear it, some people who read this might not have caught my post in March, which borrows heavily from the research of Kenneth Bailey in Poet and Peasant and his work on this parable, as well as the accompanying parables of the lost sheep and the lost coins.
Rather than write it all out again, I'm going to link to it here, so that those who wish to can take another look. I go back to it all the time because its fascinating, situating Jesus as an Eastern story teller who is a master of parabolic form, and revealing details of the form that we didn't even know existed.
The article is called "Ambassadors of 'love in humiliation'", and you can read it here.
That same week, I wrote a post about a musical I wrote based on the parable of the two lost sons, a musical entitled Lost and Found. I've been thinking about this a lot, because there are two productions of the show ramping up, one this fall at Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee with performances next month (October 18-19), and one in Hermitage, Pennsylvania at Notre Dame Church, during Lent of 2014. It's thrilling to me that interest in this little show persists after almost 25 years, considering that it is entirely self-published and has never been picked up by any publisher. It still must speak to someone!
The blog post is entitled "All your children, Lost and Found," and you can read it here.
A synopsis of the show, with soundclips for each of the songs as they occur in the story, is on my website. You can check it out by clicking here.
Thanks for reading. I hope some of this helps you get ready for Sunday's gospel, and then for living it more fully going forward.