Jesus' beautiful parable of the prodigal son, must surely be one Jesus' most memorable parables. [Luke 15:11-32]
The father of the prodigal son is of course the figure of God the Father, highlighting His infinite mercy, compassion, and forgiveness towards the sinners who genuinely repent and ask for forgiveness. And foolish is he who attempts to criticise or disdain His attributes.
The scene: Jesus is in the estate belonging to Lazarus of Bethany - his own or the adjacent one he acquired secretly from saint Simon Zealot. Lazarus' sister, Mary Magdalene, was not yet converted to Jesus. And she, very beautiful and then a divorcée and a scandalous public sinner, was Lazarus' deep sorrow, from once being his sun. Lazarus was very wealthy, holy, highly educated, and a disciple of Jesus.
The parable has overtones as having been applicable also to the apostolic group, as we read on after the end of the actual parable, below.
Judas Iscariot had previously abandoned Jesus and the other 11 apostles; and had gone away, seemingly to live in sin and debauchery, much like the prodigal son did, that we read/deduce below. Jesus wept when Judas went away. The remaining 11 apostles were obviously infuriated in some way.
Therefore, we have this scenario:
- Judas Iscariot - being 'like the prodigal son';
- Jesus - being 'like the father'; and
- the other 11 apostles - being 'like the elder brother'.
Judas returned during or at the beginning of Jesus' parable. But it's not clear whether or not he heard all or any of the parable. Judas wanted to be accepted back in and to be part of the apostles again, much like the prodigal son wanted to be accepted back by his father. Judas used Virgin Mary as a front, as a shield, in order to get back in. She, Mother of Mercy, helped him, of course, though being somewhat severe with him. 'Who seeks Mary finds Jesus,' said Jesus once.
Below, holy mystic Maria Valtorta narrates her vision of Jesus' parable of the prodigal son, being an invisible observer actually present therein, thus:
"[Maria Valtorta narrates the vision that she sees:] When Jesus sees that he [John of Endor, formerly Felix, a truly repentant sinner] has become calm, He says:
[John of Endor had burst into tears because he doubted that God had forgiven his repentant sins.]
" « Come, let us go under that thicket of apple-trees and gather our companions and the women. I will speak to everybody, but I will tell you how God loves you. »
"They go down, assembling the others as they proceed, and they all sit down in a circle in the shade of the apple orchard. Also Lazarus, who was speaking to the [saint Simon] Zealot, joins the company. They are about twenty people in all.
[Jesus narrates the parable of the prodigal son, thus:
" « Listen. It is a beautiful parable that will guide you with its light in many cases.
" « A man had two sons. The elder was a serious, affectionate, obedient worker. The younger was more intelligent than his [elder] brother who was actually somewhat dull and preferred to be guided rather than tire himself taking decisions by himself, but he [younger son] was also rebellious, absent-minded, fond of luxury, pleasure loving, a squanderer and idle.
" « Intelligence is a great gift of God. But it is a gift to be used wisely. Otherwise it is like certain medicines that, when taken in the wrong way, kill instead of curing. His [younger son] father, as it was his [father's] right and duty, used to recall him [younger son] to a more sensible life. But it was all in vain, the only result was that he [younger son] answered back and became more obstinate in his wicked ideas.
" « Finally one day, after a fiercer quarrel, the younger son said: »
[Younger son speaks to his father:]
" 'Give me my part of the estate. So I will no longer hear your reproaches and my brother's complaints. Let each have his own and no more about it.'
[The father of the two sons speaks:]
" 'Be careful' replied the father, 'because you will soon be ruined. What will you do then? Consider that I will not be unfair to favour you and I will not take a farthing off your brother to give it to you.'
[Younger son replies:]
" 'I will not ask you for anything. You may be sure. Give me my part.'
" « The father had the estate and valuables assessed, and since money and jewels were worth as much as the real estate, he gave the elder brother the fields and vineyards, the herds and olive trees, and the younger one the money and jewels, which the young man changed immediately into money. And after doing that in a few days, he went to a distant country where he lived like a lord, squandering all his money on a life of debauchery, making people believe that he was the son of a king, because he was ashamed to admit that he was a countryman and thus he disowned his father.
" « Banquets, friends, women, robes, wines, games. he led a loose life. He soon saw that his money was coming to an end and that poverty was in sight. And to make matters worse, the country experienced a severe famine, which compelled him to spend his last penny. He would have liked to go back to his father. But he was proud and decided not to. So he went to a wealthy man of the country, a friend of his in his happy days, and he begged him saying: »
[Younger son speaks:]
" 'Take me among your servants, remembering the days when you enjoyed my wealth.'
" « See how foolish man is! He prefers the lash of a master rather than say to his father: 'Forgive me. I made a mistake!' The young man had learned many useless things with his bright intelligence, but he did not want to learn the saying of Ecclesiasticus [= Book of Sirach in the Bible]: 'How ill-famed is he who deserts his father and how accursed of the Lord is whoever angers his mother.' He was intelligent, but not wise.
" « The man to whom he had applied, in exchange for the grand time he had enjoyed with the foolish young man, sent him to look after his pigs, because it was a pagan country and there were many pigs. So he was sent to pasture the herds of pigs in the farm.
" « Filthy, in rags, stinking and starving - food in fact was scarce for all the servants and particularly for the lowest ones and he, a foreign ridiculed herdsman of pigs was considered such - he saw the pigs glut themselves with acorns and sighed: »
[Younger son sighs:]
" 'I wish I could fill my stomach with this fruit! But they are too bitter! Not even starvation can make them palatable.'
" « And he wept remembering the sumptuous banquets when he acted the 'grand seigneur' [the grand lord] only a short while before, laughing, singing, dancing. and then he would think of the honest substantial meals at his far away home, of the portions his father used to make impartially for everybody, keeping for himself [the father] the smallest one, happy to see the healthy appetite of his sons. and he [younger son] remembered the helpings his just father gave the servants and he sighed: »
[Younger son sighs:]
" 'My father's servants, even the lowest, have plenty bread. and I am dying here of starvation.'
" « A long meditation, a long struggle to subdue his pride.
" « At last the day came, when his humility and wisdom revived and he got up and said: »
[Younger son says to himself:]
" 'I will go back to my father! This pride of mine is silly, as it deprives me of my freedom. And why? Why should I suffer in my body and even more in my heart when I can be forgiven and receive comfort? I will go back to my father. That is settled. And what shall I say to him? What has matured in my heart here, in this abjection, in this filth, suffering the pangs of hunger! I will say to him:
" ' « Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy of being called your son; treat me therefore as the least of your servants, but bear me to stay under your roof. That I may see you moving about. »
" 'I cannot say to him: « . because I love you. » He would not believe me. But my behaviour will tell him and he will understand and before dying he will bless me once again. Oh! I hope so. Because my father loves me.'
" « And when he [younger son] went back to town in the evening he gave up his job and begging along the way he went back home. And he saw his father's fields. and the house. and his father superintending the work. he was old, emaciated by grief but always kind and good.
" « The guilty son seeing that [the] ruin caused by him stopped frightened. but the [his] father, looking round, saw him [younger son] and ran to meet him [younger son], because he was still far away. And when he [father of the two sons] reached him [younger son], he [father of the two sons] threw his arms round his [younger son] neck and kissed him [younger son]. Only the father had recognised his son [younger son] in the dejected beggar and he [father of the two sons] was the only one [father of the two sons] to be moved with love.
" « The son, clasped in his father's arms, with his head resting on his father's shoulder, whispered sobbing: »
[Younger son whispers, sobbing:]
" ' Father, let me throw myself at your feet.'
[The father of the two sons speaks:]
" 'No, son! Not at my feet. Rest on my heart, which has suffered so much because of your absence, and now needs to revive feeling your warmth on my chest.'
" « And the son, crying louder, said: »
[Younger son speaks, crying louder:]
" 'Oh! father! I have sinned against Heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called son by you. But allow me to live among your servants, under your roof, seeing you, eating your bread, serving you, and you will be the breath of my life. Every time I take a morsel of bread, every time you breathe, my heart, which is so corrupt, will change and I will become honest.'
" « But the father, embracing him all the time, led him towards the servants, who had gathered together watching in the distance and he said to them: »
[The father of the two sons speaks, ordering the servants:]
" 'Quick, bring here the best robe, and basins of scented water, and wash him, spray him with scents, clothe him, put new sandals on his feet and a ring on his finger. Bring a fattened calf and kill it. And prepare a banquet. Because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life, he was lost and has been found.
" 'Now I want him to find once again the innocent love of a child, and my love and the celebration of the household for his return must give it to him. He must realize that he is always my dear last-born child, as he was in his childhood a long time ago, when he used to toddle beside me making me happy with his smile and his prattling."
" « The elder son was out in the country and he did not know anything until his return.
" « Coming towards the house in the evening, he [elder son] saw that it was brightly lighted and he heard the sound of instruments and dancing coming from it. He called a servant who was bustling about and asked him: »
[Elder son speaks to a servant:]
" 'What is happening?'
" « And the servant replied: »
[A servant replies:]
" 'Your brother has come back! Your father had the fattened calf killed because his son has come back to him safe and cured of his wickedness and he ordered a celebration. They are only waiting for you to start.'
" « But the first-born [elder son] was angry because he thought that such a feast for his younger brother was unfair, as he was not only younger, but had been also wicked. And he did not want to go in, on the contrary he was about to walk away from the house.
" « But the father, informed of the situation, ran out and reached him and endeavoured to convince him, begging him not to spoil his joy. The elder brother replied to his father: »
[Elder son speaks:]
" 'And you [father of the two sons] expect me not to be upset? You are unfair to your first-born [elder son] and you hold him in contempt. I have served you since I was able to work, and I have done that for many years. I have never disobeyed an order of yours, not even a simple desire.'
" 'I have always been near you, and I have loved you for two, to make you recover from the wound inflicted on you by my brother. And you have not given me even a lamb to have a feast with my friends. You are now honouring my brother and you have killed the best calf for him, who offended and abandoned you, and has been a lazy spendthrift, and has now come back because he was driven by starvation. It is really worth while being a hard honest worker! You should not have done that to me.'
" « The father then, clasping him to his heart, said: »
[The father of the two sons speaks:]
" 'Son [elder son]! Can you believe that I do not love you, because I do not celebrate your behaviour? Your deeds are holy by themselves, and the world praises you because of them.
" 'Your brother, instead, needs to be rehabilitated both in the eyes of the world and in his own. And do you think that I do not love you because I give you no visible prize? But day and night, in every moment of my life, you are present to my heart, and I bless you every moment. You have the continuous reward of being always with me [that kept him good and holy], and what is mine is yours [= remaining half of the original estate].
" 'But it was fair to have a feast, a celebration for your brother who was dead and has come back to good life, was lost and has come back to our love.'
" « And the first-born yielded to his father's desire. [And so joined in the celebration.]
" « And that, My friends, is what happens in the House of [God] the Father. And whoever feels that he is like the younger son [a repentant sinner] of the parable, must believe that if he imitates him in going to the Father, the Father will say to him:
" « 'Not at My Feet. But rest on My Heart, which has suffered because of your absence and is now happy because you have come back.'
" « Who is in the situation of the first-born [a virtuous person] and without any fault against the Father, must not be jealous of the Father's joy, but must take part in it and love the redeemed brother [younger son]. That is all.
" « You, John of Endor [Felix] and you, Lazarus, please remain here. The others can go and set the tables [for meal time]. We shall not be long. »
[In another unrelated situation, Jesus tells us: "Always remember: 'I make no difference between him who loves Me with his spotless purity and him who loves Me in the sincere contrition of a heart reborn to Grace.' I am the Saviour. Always remember that."]
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] They all withdraw. When Jesus, Lazarus and John [of Endor] are alone, Jesus says to them:
" « That is what will happen to the dear soul [= Mary Magdalene] you are awaiting, Lazarus, and that is what is happening to yours, John [of Endor]. God's bounty has no limit... »
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] ... The apostles, together with [Virgin] Mary and the women, go towards the house, preceded by [about 10-12 year old] Marjiam [the adopted son of saint Peter] who runs ahead frisking [leaping playfully]. But he [Marjiam, formerly Jabez] soon comes back and takes [Virgin] Mary by the hand saying to Her:
"[Marjiam speaks to Virgin Mary:]
" 'Come with me. I have something to tell you, when we are alone.'
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] And Mary follows him. They turn towards a well situated in a corner of the little yard, and completely covered by a thick bower [a support for climbing plants] that from the ground climbs up towards the terrace forming an arch. Behind it, there is the [Judas] Iscariot.
[Virgin Mary speaks, uncharacteristically sternly but She lets Judas Iscariot have his say:]
" 'Judas, what do you want? Go, Marjiam... Speak. What do you want?'
[Holy Marjiam would have obeyed at once, to withdraw.]
[Judas Iscariot responds:]
" 'I am guilty... I dare not go to the Master [Jesus] or face my companions [11 apostles]... Help me...'
[Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, agrees to help Judas, and speaks gravely:]
" 'I will help you. But do you not consider how much grief you cause? My Son [Jesus] wept because of you. And your companions [11 apostles] suffered. But come. No one will say anything to you. And, if you can, do not commit the same sins again. It is shameful for a man and a sacrilege against the Word of God [= Jesus].'
[It seems that Virgin Mary knew exactly what Judas had been up to, while away. Judas loved revelling and 'enjoying' himself with prostitutes.]
[Judas Iscariot speaks:]
" 'And will You forgive me, Mother?'
[Virgin Mary responds:]
" 'I? I count for nothing as far as you are concerned, since you think you are so great.
[Sometimes, Judas even tried to be the master to His Master, wanting Jesus to water down the Gospel, like some clerics do today using various ruses, snakily of course.]
"[Virgin Mary continues:] 'I am the least of the servants of the Lord. How can you worry about Me, if you feel no pity for My Son [Jesus]?'
[Judas' eventual downfall was mainly due to the fact that he frequently fraternised with sinners, many of whom wielded religious power - hypocrites that were fierce enemies of Jesus. It also eventuated that he, Judas, becoming a demon, also began to spy on Jesus on their behalf, reporting on Him. 'A spy is already a devil', Jesus has said. Judas was, what today we would say: 'a city slicker.' He was educated, and rarely missed an opportunity to demean saint Peter, who was a fisherman. But saint Peter, not Judas, was the kind of guy one would want to have as a friend.]
[Judas Iscariot responds to Virgin Mary:]
" 'Because I have a mother as well, and if You [Virgin Mary] forgive me, I will feel as if she did, too.'
[Judas' mother, Mary of Simon, was indeed a holy woman, a widow and a disciple of Jesus. About 2-3 years later, she broke down completely when she learned of her son Judas' betrayal of Jesus. But Jesus had previously lined up a woman nearby, a neighbour, Anne of Kerioth, ready and willing to help her totally. Anne's daughter, Johanna, was, some time back, dumped by Judas, and she 'died of a broken heart.' Judas was tall, dark, and handsome - an only child and spoilt by his father, Simon.]
[Virgin Mary continues to speak, and responds to Judas:]
" 'She [Judas' mother] does not know about this fault of yours.'
[Judas Iscariot responds:]
" 'But she made me swear I would be good to the Master [Jesus]. I am a perjurer. I can feel the soul of my mother reproaching me.'
[Virgin Mary speaks:]
" 'You feel that, do you? But do you not feel the lament and the reproach of [God] the Father and of His Word [Jesus]? You are disgraceful, Judas! You cause grief to yourself and to those who love you.'
[About a week before Jesus was to go for his final journey to Jerusalem (Passover) and be crucified, He tried to dissuade Judas from going there as well (to avert him betraying Him), and to go instead elsewhere other than Jerusalem for the Jewish Passover. Jesus said to Judas:
["Believe Me, we are the only ones to love you thus, without limit. There are three who love you in Heaven: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, Who have contemplated you and Who are awaiting your decision to make you the jewel of Redemption, the greatest prey snatched from the Abyss; and three on the Earth: your mother, My Mother, and I. Make us happy, Judas! Both us in Heaven and us on the Earth, who love you with true love."
[Judas said no, and so he went to his false pals - scribes and pharisees - in Jerusalem, and the rest is history. Judas is in Hell forever, never to be released.]
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] Mary is very grave and sad. She speaks without bitterness but with much gravity.
[Virgin Mary speaks:]
" 'Do not weep. Improve yourself. Come'
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] and She takes him by the hand and enters the kitchen [of the house].
"Everybody is filled with astonishment [like the elder son above]. But [Virgin] Mary wards off any possible uncharitable remark. She says:
[Virgin Mary speaks to the 11 apostles as a group, that would have not dared to go against Holy Mary's wishes:]
" 'Judas has come back. Behave as the first-born did after his father's speech. John [of Zebedee], go and tell Jesus.'
[Saint John, not much older than a mere boy, would have obeyed at once. He was then about 16-18 years old.]
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] John of Zebedee runs away. Silence hangs heavy on the kitchen...
"Then Judas says:
[Judas Iscariot speaks:]
" 'Forgive me, all of you, and you, Simon [saint Peter], first of all. Your heart is so paternal. And I am an orphan, too.'
[This seems to me to be a cheap play - bordering on offensive irony that Judas excelled in - on the fact that saint Peter, paternally, had adopted the orphan, Marjiam.]
[Saint Peter speaks:]
" 'Yes, I forgive you [Judas]. Please, say no more about it. We are brothers... and I do not like these ups and downs of forgiveness and relapses. They humiliate both the offender and the forgiver. Here is Jesus [coming]. Go to Him. That's all.'
"[Maria Valtorta continues:] Judas goes away and Peter, not being able to do anything else, starts chopping wood with keen impetuosity..."
But Judas, seemingly repentant and forgiven by Virgin Mary, Jesus, and the other 11 apostles, in a day or so later, relapsed and soon returned back to the gods he truly loved: himself and sinning. [II Peter 2.22; Proverbs 26.11 (part)]
What more can be said about Jesus' beautiful parable of the prodigal son?? That God the Father's forgiveness of a repentant sinner is real, binding, and paternal:
"Not at My Feet. But rest on My Heart, which has suffered because of your absence and is now happy because you have come back."
Sweet loving, adorable Jesus Christ continues to be, now and in eternity, true God and true Man.
Saint John says to us:
"Let those who blaspheme by saying that Christ was not true God and true Man cease to blaspheme out of mercy on their souls." [Implicit punishment not revealed.]
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.
The foregoing is pursuant to the Gospel that Jesus dictated to Maria Valtorta, the Bible, and my analysis.
PS - The Corona Virus Plague: a Divine Chastisement
Whether the 'fake-news' people, or other masters of 'crooked ways of deceit' or falsehood, like it or not, the patent truth is, that we're in the midst of a worldwide chaos - the Corona Virus Plague: a Divine Chastisement.
I notice that many people, governments, and the mass media are now using WHO's nebulous 'COVID-19' narrative to describe the corona virus. I'm surprised that WHO did not call the virus: 'taking the local grandmother for a walk in the park;' or kissing a baby, or some other 'feel-good' nomenclature.
Even more so than before, I'm now fully convinced that the corona virus plague - a PLAGUE - is Divine Chastisement, a wake-up call to all peoples to abandon sin and to return back to Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, by repentance, penance, and especially by Christian prayer. The sooner governments and others around the world become honest and recognise this, the sooner things might start to improve.
For the true only God, the God of the Bible, has said:
"If My people who are called by My Name humble themselves, and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." [II Chronicles 7.14]
Granted that governments and many others are currently working feverishly and heroically in dealing with the corona virus plague, but they are really, really focusing only on, solely only, the symptoms of the disease - its medical, social, and economic chaos - and not focusing on, not treating, the real cause of the disease itself - man's sinful living - cowardly fearing a backlash from the usual noisy ones: by the godless, the sinners, and by the servants of their father Satan.
Some governments and some of their agencies have become faithful agents of Satan, with many legislators becoming willing lucifers, by enacting and enforcing laws that implement Satan's commandments that lead people plunging into the Abyss: Hell.
Some centuries back, Pope Gregory I (the Great) had the correct policy to implement when he was elected Pope in 590 A.D. and wicked Rome was being punished by invaders and by a plague. He got all the people to repent of their sins, fast, and pray. He also held prayer processions, with the people walking barefooted in penance. And the plague soon cleared, miraculously.
And so was it similar back in time still, when real Jewish prophet Jonah warned the wicked people of Nineveh of the coming of a Divine Chastisement. The then king of Nineveh listened to Jonah's message and, in penance, 'arose from his throne, removed his robe, cloaked himself in sackcloth, and sat on ashes;' and then he proclaimed that the people repent of their sins, fast, and do penance. When God saw the repentance of the people, He relented and did not punish the then wicked people of Nineveh. [Jonah 3.6-10]
God, Infinite Mercy, Compassion, Forgiveness, relented.
But the people, today - rebellious, disobedient, sinful - will not repent!!
Governments and the Christian clergy and the people around the world must all join together, and follow the repenting example of the wicked people of Nineveh, of wicked Rome in 590 A.D., and of the prodigal son. [Luke 15:11-32]
"For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins." [Daniel 3.37]
Sins: e.g. abortion, divorce, adultery and formication, couples living in sin and procreating children in sin, homosexuality and same-sex marriage. And more.
Today's peoples of planet earth, are, in truth, the 'Babylon' of saint John's Apocalypse, that's in the most holy Christian Bible.