Jesus tells the story of the “prodigal” that speaks of the extraordinary gift of reconciliation. Some call it the parable of the “merciful parent”. It could also be called the parable of the “unscrupulous and self-righteous children.” In the story, the younger of the two children demands the inheritance and proceeds to squander it all. With eyes that are opened to a dissolute way of life and worthy to be called a child of the family the decision is made to return home and ask to be accepted as a hired worker.
The elder child is angry when the parent welcomes the wayward child home. The complaint is made that the elder child has been a life-long “slave” and was never rewarded for all the good work done.
Both attitudes are wrong. We cannot lose God’s love or earn it. All who repent and accept God’s mercy are sons and daughters of God. With the psalmist we pray, “Magnify God with me; together let us exalt the name of our Creator.”