“He squandered his money on a life of debauchery. When he had spent it all, that country
experienced a severe famine…”
The young man
who had been blessed by his father returned home, as a wretched poor man. All
the money had been squandered on lots of parties and false friends.
When we look at the picture of the younger son, his clothes are torn, his
shoes completely worn off and his hair shaven. He is in a pathetic state. The picture of the young son kneeling
before his father is a far cry from the arrogant son who had demanded his
inheritance. The father’s clothes reminder the son of what he left, status and dignity. His red cloak which the
father wears shows that he is a man of means. The only thing we can observe from the
picture that gives the young man dignity and his roots is a short sword showing
his rank in society, for had lost all else. The sword is a sign of his son ship,
thank God in his desperation he did not sell it. The younger son shows a young
man who has been humiliated, defeated and was far worse than his father’s
servants. When we leave God for the dizzy heights of the distant country we move away from his voice, we get
entangled by the world and the power games of the world.
We became like the younger son, when we see other people’s progress we
envy them, when we try and please people, when we feel resentment and jealous,
then we have really gone to the distant country and have moved away from the
God’s voice and assuring love that says you are always the beloved.
Another sign that shows that poverty has set in is when we worry that
other people will be jealous of our success. We grow mistrustful of others and in
the process we lose our inner freedom. You know that you are lost and that you
are in the distant country when you seek the world to validate you and it
rejects you or ignores you. Another example of a sign of being in a distant
country is power play and power games which incidental show the depth of
spiritual poverty.(The mentality I am in charge; instead of collaboration and growth in relationships) It means
that voice of God is no longer present in your life. One wants to hear other
voices instead of seeking the voice of God to be validated. Human beings can
never fully validate another without prejudice only God can do that, for we are
the beloved of the Lord. Ultimately what pushes the younger son home is that the world does not
even consider him a person, hence he feeds with the pigs. He comes to his senses
and says; even my father servants are better fed.
He remembered that whatever he had done, he was still his father’s son
and he returns home. We too can take courage in the fact that through our
baptism we are always going to be God’s children and the door is always open for
us to return home. Ours is to recognise that we need to repent and to reshape.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ