Prodigal Son

Today, the Orthodox Christian world continues the “Lenten Triodion,” the cycle of services that prepare us for, and guide us through, Great Lent.

Our preparation continues with reflection on Christ’s story of the Prodigal Son, as told in Luke 15: 11-32. The hymns of last evening’s Vespers and this morning’s Matins include particular hymns based on the story.

From Vespers:

Rich and fertile was the earth allotted to us,
but all we planted were the seeds of sin.
We reaped the sheaves of evil with the sickle of laziness;
we failed to place them on the threshing floor of sorrow.
Now we beg You, O Lord, eternal Master of the harvest:
“May your love become the breeze to winnow the straw of our worthless deeds!
Make us like the precious wheat to be stored in heaven,
and save us all!”

Brothers, our purpose is to know the power of God’s goodness.
For when the Prodigal Son abandoned his sin,
he hastened to the refuge of his father.
That good man embraced him and welcomed him;
he killed the fatted calf and celebrated with heavenly joy.
Let us learn from this example
to offer thanks to the Father, Who loves all men,
and to the glorious Victim, the Savior of our souls!

What great blessings have I forsaken, wretch that I am?
From what kingdom have I miserably fallen?
I have squandered the riches that were given me;
I have transgressed the commandments.
Woe to me when I shall be condemned to eternal fire!
Cry out to Christ, O my soul, before the end draws nigh:
“Receive me as the Prodigal, O God, and have mercy on me!”

Like the Prodigal Son, I too have returned
after spending my whole life away from home.
I have scattered the wealth that You gave me, merciful Father.
Accept me as I repent, O God, and have mercy on me!
I, a wretched man, hide my face in shame:
I have squandered the riches my Father gave to me;
I went to live with senseless beasts;
I sought their food and hungered, for I had not enough to eat.
I will arise, I will return to my compassionate Father;
He will accept my tears, as I kneel before Him, crying:
“In Your tender love for all men, receive me as one of Your servants and save me!”

From Matins:

The riches of Your gifts of grace, which You gave me, the wretched one,
I squandered badly, O Savior,
since without cause I departed and lived in great extravagance.
The demons tricked me to disperse.
And therefore as the Prodigal, I am returning.
Receive me, O loving Father, and save me.

The wealth You gave to me, O Lord,
I squandered and I spent it all.
And I the wretch have submitted myself to the wicked demons.
O Savior all-compassionate, take pity on this Prodigal.
And make me clean, for I am stained.
And give me again my former  robe of Your rule and kingdom.

 

John 6:60-63, 66 (MSGV)

John 6:60-63 Therefore, many of His disciples, when they heard this, said “This is a hard saying; who can uncerstand it? When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?” What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? Anyway, I was just jerkin’ around with you with that “eat my body, drink my blood” stuff. It’s all figurative. Y’all know, don’t ya, that Christianity will be all about angels’n’feelin’ good about yourself? … From that time, many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. (More Spiritual than God Version)Read More »