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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %PRODIGAL SON ADDICT FATHER LEGAL LAW EVIL REJECT 930806 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that foreign country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. Thus, after joining himself to prostitutes the prodigal son joined himself to a sinful foreigner who raised pigs, the source of pork which is an abomination under the Old Testament Law, wherein joining in the latter abomination requires greater penance than does the former abomination! And the younger son would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself he said, "How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; please treat me as one of your hired servants.'" And he arose and came to his father's house and found a hired maid in the yard and asked her to inform his father that he was repentant, had returned and wanted a private conference with him. At first the father refused, but on a third request made by the son through the maid the father reluctantly consented to meet in the front yard. The father told the son to be quick in explaining why he had come back, and that it had better be a good explanation. And the son said to him "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; please treat me as one of your hired servants, such as the maid who brought you the news of my return." But the father said, "Those are only cheap words. I doubt that you are sincere, considering the many abominations you have committed with many prostitutes and with many pigs. I have constantly had my servants kept track of you. I know all about what you thought were your secret behaviors. You have not yet engaged in the penance required under the Law of Moses, yet you come now insisting that I listen to your cheap words! Be gone! The repentant son went away a second time to do penance under the Law of Moses. He went to the temple and asked the religious leaders to supervise his time and program of penance. When his time and program of penance was completed he returned to his father's house and asked the maid to tell his father that his repentant prodigal son had completed his time and program of penance, and now begged humbly to have a conference with him about being accepted as a lowly hired hand. He gave the maid a letter from the religious leaders certifying that he had completed his time and program of penance, and asked her to show the certification to his father. Only after a third request by the son transmitted through the hired maid did the father relent and called a family business conference to examine his son to determine whether he was truly repentant and worthy of acceptance as a hired hand. The father chaired the conference and after extensive questioning and discussion the vote was seven to six to give the son a chance to prove himself during a seven year period of probation as a most menial hired hand with the associated symbolic bare essentials of clothing, shelter and food. The elder son and father both voted against giving the prodigal son a chance to prove himself. During the last day of the seventh year of the probationary period, the prodigal son failed to carry out fully one unusually burdensome task to the satisfaction of the elder son who was the Vice President, and the younger son was immediately, unceremoniously and permanently sent away from the family for failing to complete his probationary period as a menial hired hand in a fully satisfactory way. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================