When Jesus was thirty years old, he traveled through Palestine and told people about God. He said that God was like a loving and forgiving father. Once when Jesus was surrounded by a crowd, he narrated the story of the prodigal son.

A rich farmer had two sons. One day, the younger son came to him and asked for his share of the wealth, so that he could have a good time. The loving father could not refuse. Later, the son packed his belonging and set off on a horse with the wealth.

A few days later, he reached an unknown place and bought himself a splendid house. He spent his money buying clothes for him self and expensive gifts for his new friends. He threw many parties. Musicians played at these parties. The guests enjoyed the free food and wine at his house.

Soon he ended up appending all his wealth. To pay his debts, he had to sell his house. Sad and alone, he searched for a job to earn money any buy food. However, there was a drought in that country and people return gave him some food. Sometimes, the young man even ate a share of the pig’s food. Miserable and sad, he missed his loving father and his comfortable home, where everyone plenty to eat plenty to eat. He said to himself, `in my father’s home everyone’s need is taken care of and here I am, dying of hunger.’ He thought, he would return to his father and ask for forgiveness.

With these thoughts in his mind the young man set for his home. It was a difficult journey as he had neither money nor a horse. He grew weak and dirty and wore old, torn clothes.

His father recognized him from a distance and ran t meet him. ``Father, I have sinned against you and God,’’ cried the young man. ``Please don’t send me away.’’

The old man hugged and kissed his son. He told his cook, ``Prepare the best feast to celebrate my son’s return. He was lost but now has been found. Invite to all my friends and neighbors to share my joy’’. The son was given the best of clothes to wear and a ring too.

When he elder son returned from the fields, he saw the celebrations going on in the house. He was angry when he was told that the celebrations were for his younger brother.

The father should i? I have always been faithful to you and yet you never let me have a party with my friends. Now, my foolish brother returns after wasting everything and you have a great feast’’.

The father understood why the elder son was bitter and jealous.

``My son’’, he said gently, 11ou are always with me and I have loved you. But try and understand my feelings. Do you not realize that I have been worried ever since he went away? I know, he was foolish and wanted all the wealth. However, he has realized his mistake and I have forgiven him. He is still my son and I shall always love him.’’

The elder son, felt ashamed of himself for having doubted his, father’s love. He understood that all children are equal for loving and forgiving father.




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