The parable of the Prodigal Son is so familiar to us that we are in danger of tuning it out when it is read. It no longer makes us squirm with discomfort.
Part of what I wanted to do in this sermon was to find a way for us to recover the same sort of amazement at Jesus' message that its first hearers had. I did that by asking us to find a way to identify with an unexpected person in the story.
The Father – of whom Jesus is the icon – and we his body – becomes a model for the corporate life of the Church. We are willing to be humiliated. We are willing to stand and patiently wait. We are focused on reconciliation.