Both sons have misconstrued the relationship with their father. The older son wants to relate on a basis of servile loyalty (allegorically, the Law). The younger son, on his return, wishes to relate on the basis of confession of sin and desires to be treated as a slave. The father rejects both projections. Servile loyalty and guilt are not unknown in the Christian tradition!
Abba, Father, show us your compassion and let us know your love. Amen.
Kieran J. O’Mahony OSA