SOUL FOOD for Young Adult Communities: March 10, 2013, Fourth Sunday of Lent

SOUL FOOD for Young Adult Communities: March 10, 2013, Fourth Sunday of Lent. Year of St. Luke.

Gospel today is Luke 15:1-3, and 11-32.  The Parable of the Prodigal Son. See it on YouTube

Letter to Sinead, Mark and Friends. (Sinead and Mark are two young adults).

Dear Sinead, Mark, and Friends,

Inside Out and Outside In‘ is what this is about, today. The ‘Outcasts’ are inside, with Jesus. The Insiders (aka the Pharisees and Religious Leaders/the Elder Brother) find themselves on the Outside! Jesus sure turns things on their head,- and inside out!

Three stories today,- one by Cornelius the Pig, the other two by The Fattened Calf ! They are an imagined version of what went on during the parable of the Prodigal Son!

But first, let’s set the scene. Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you could cut the atmosphere with a knife? There’s tension in the air, between people around you. There are some who are angry, and there are others who are bystanders, watching what’s going on.

Luke paints us just such a picture,-  a picture of Jesus, sitting inside, in the middle of a crowd of people who were outcasts, despised by the ‘holy’ people, the religious leaders of his time. The sinners had been flocking to Jesus to listen to him! Imagine that. And while he ate and drank with them, the religious men (who thought they were on the inside track with God!) were tut tutting, and very angry. ‘This man eats with sinners!’ they cried. You could cut the air with that knife. They hated Jesus for doing this. And Jesus loved being in the company of people who were broken, wounded, searching, bewildered, many who had made a mess of their lives to this point, who felt left outside. He loved them as people.  So Jesus turned and faced his accusers, the Pharisees, and told them three stories about being Lost and Found,- about people outside who came inside, and people inside who chose to remain outside!  The parable of the Prodigal Son is the third one, given to us as our soul food for today. Read it for yourself, if you can (it’s Luke 15:11-32).  But here’s the same story, this time told with imagination by some young students in 2nd year in St. Clement’s College, Limerick, in 2011. One is a pig’s eye view of what happened, the other two are by the Fatted Calf (sadly truncated!). But in all of it, what is Jesus saying to the angry Pharisees? (They are the Older Brother, in the parable.)


Hello, I am Cornelius. I am a pig. I am one of the pigs whom the Prodigal Son fed when in need of work, money and food. The only reason I know all this is because I am a rare pig, the only one in the world who can speak all the languages of the world, and I can teleport and be invisible when I want to. All right, so, I will start the story.

One day all my friends and I went out onto our field and were all acting normal and everything was fine. Then, all of a sudden our owner was coming out to us, with a random stranger. At first, we thought he might be a butcher or something, or we might be going to be slaughtered. But anyway, one of the pigs called Percy was so scared at the thought of being eaten, he ran off and jumped over the fence to a field and was never seen again. We copped on and relaxed when he fed us and stayed with us. He was to be our minder.

I think he must have been paranoid because he told us all that had happened to him as if we were people. He told us how he had one older brother and one day he asked for all his half of the wealth he would get to inherit from his Father. He than ran off to another country with all his money and wasted it there. After he had nothing, the country went into a severe famine and that was how he got this job. I offered him some of our food but I don’t think it looked very appetizing to him. Then he started talking about all his father’s men having food and everything. He told us, well me, -the other pigs didn’t know what was going on- that he was going to go home and tell his father that he has sinned against heaven and against his father and he is no longer worthy to be his son and just give him a job.

So anyway he set off and that was the last we saw of him. But I secretly teleported after him and when he was about a few miles away from home, his father saw him and ran out to him (but really us) and instead of getting given out to, he was welcomed greatly. They put a nice new gold ring on his finger and polished sandals on his feet and a brand new pressed robe and all on him. They got the fattened calf and killed it for a feast. The father kept saying ‘my son was lost and now he is found!’  His brother didn’t know what was going on and when a servant told him, he was really angry and jealous, pointing out that he minded the house and animals and his parents, and they never did anything special for him. He stayed outside sulking. I saw all this of course, by being invisible (one of my powers!).

Everyone was at the party, and even the servants were enjoying themselves. The father and mother were happy to have their son back. The son Flugen, he told us, was happy to have been forgiven, but wary in case his brother would do something. The brother is jealous and is just after having a row with his father.

After it is over, I teleported home and when the other pigs asked, I said that I was looking for Percy!  I heard people on the road coming home from the party. They were talking about how great the feast was, and how good it was to have the son back with his family. Then I fell asleep and didn’t hear the rest.

Jaffar Abbas, 2E.  March 2011.


I was grazing in a field when I saw my owner’s son walking out of the house, and his mother running after him shouting at him.

He ignored her and kept walking,- he didn’t even look back.

The master’s wife sat at the foot of the steps crying, the brother was roaring something at the son and waving his scythe in the air.

I loved the rest of my years without the son. I was not moved from field to field every day, with the grass growing long and the weather ever so warm.

One day, I was lying in the shade under a tree when I saw my master running from the doorstep, binoculars flying in the air, shouting for his wife.

The father was hugging and kissing the son.

Soon four of the servants were approaching me with ropes.

They wrestled me into a net and took me to a shed.

One of the slaves had an object called an axe (or that’s what I think it’s called) above his head.

I wonder what that could be for… (gulp) uh oh!!!

Jack Lynch, 2nd Year, 2011

Another version of THE FATTENED CALF story:

I was born only 6 months ago, but I’ve been treated like a king. All the humans give me the best hay, access to all the farm, and they haven’t touched a hair on my head. Anyway, I heard about the farmer’s son, how he’d gone and wasted half of the estate’s money on drink and drugs and massive parties. He then had to work as a pig farmer when his cash ran out.

You should hear how the servants talk about the farmer, how he’s so weak and couldn’t even control his youngest! Ooh! Look, someone’s put out some fresh hay for me. What a great life I live. 

Hey, what’s the farmer doing, hugging some dirty hobo on the road. Oh well, must be a human thing.

Here come a couple of servants, trying to take me away from my hay. Wait, what are they doing that big knife? Oh Sh……..CHOP!

Chris Ryan, 2nd Year 2011.

Why the PARTY for one, and why the JEALOUSY and ANGER in the other? Who was right???

Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.

P.S. And a happy Mother’s Day to all your Moms!

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