The mother of the prodigal son

Today in the UK is Mothering Sunday.  It began as a festival in the Church’s year half way through Lent.

I have decided to write about a fictional character.  In fact she did not even appear in a story.

Jesus’ parable about the prodigal son is well known. Many people would like to see it renamed the generous fatherLuke 15:11-31

Last week I heard about some exercises in putting in some of the back-story. The father’s attitude, the elder son’s attitude and what happened the following day were mentioned. One person who does not come into the story at all is the mother.

I have put forward some of the possible stories about her. She may have been absent, a well-meaning mother, or what?

Here are some possibilities:-

The mother of the prodigal son

  • died in childbirth
  • suffered from postnatal depression
  • was busy with her own creative interests, spinning, dyeing, weaving
  • was a good mother, but unable to tame her headstrong son
  • felt powerless to prevent her son’s rebellion, but saw it coming
  • was there beside her husband, but not mentioned

Which is the most likely story?

Stop press: The vicar wished me a happy Mothering Sunday after the service.  I made a comment about not reciprocating the greeting (as it is really about mothers, rather than fathers.)  He replied with the following joke:

You can recognise Anglicans.  When they go to a Star Wars film and hear, “The force be with you,” they reply, “And also with you!”

Have a good day!