The Parable of the Prodigal Son is no doubt about God’s loving mercy and care for all of us. While we have heard the Parable many times and accept God being caring and merciful with us, it probably does not have much of an affect on how we live our every day lives.
There are a number of ways to look at this Parable, or any parable, in our own life. One way is to pray the Parable.
— We begin by asking the Holy Spirit to help us, without sayin the kind of help we want. The idea is to be fully open to the Spirit in every way.
— We then slowly read the Parable over a few times, ready to be surprised, not thinking what the Parable will say because it has always said this, etc.
— Then we look at the characters in the Parable — the Prodigal Son, the Father, the elder son, the servants, finally Jesus. We try to get inside their heads. The Parable tells us what they were thinking, but when we put ourselves inside them, we might begin to see things that somehow have an effect in our thinking, in the way we see something we are dealing with in our own life.
— The important thing is to do this slowly, not forcing any particular idea or insight.
This approach can be used with any of the Gospel Stories. The important thing is being ready to be surprised.