The Gospel of Great Lent
Lent is an absolutely unique period in the church year. Every day, every service is filled with a special meaning. The most important place is occupied by the gospel readings of the Sunday days of fasting and preparatory weeks. We asked different people to read these evangelical passages and tell how they understand them and what they personally take for themselves, under the heading of the Gospel of Lent. The gospel of the second preparatory week - the parable of the prodigal son - was read together with "Thomas" by Eduard Boyakov, director, producer, theatrical teacher.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son. The Gospel of Luke, chapter 15:
11 Still said: some man had two sons;
12 and the younger of them said to his father: Father! give me the part of the estate that's next to me. And the father shared his estate with them.
13 After a few days, the youngest son, having collected everything, went to the far side and there he wasted his estate, living dissolute.
14 When he lived everything, there was a great famine in that country, and he began to need ...
15 and went, nestle to one of the inhabitants of that country, and he sent him to the fields to feed the pigs; 16 and he was glad to fill his womb with horns that were eaten by pigs, but no one gave him. 17 When he came to himself, he said: how many of my father's mercenaries are overfilled with bread, and I'm dying of hunger; 18 I'll get up, go to my father and tell him: Father! I have sinned against heaven and in front of you 19 and is no longer worthy to be called your son; accept me as one of your mercenaries.
20 He got up and went to his father. And when he was still far away, his father saw him and took pity; and ran, fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no longer worthy to be called thy son.
22 And the father said to his servants, Bring out the best clothes and put it on, and give a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet;
23 and bring the fattened calf, and kill; Let us eat and have fun!
24 for this my son was dead and came to life, disappeared and was found. And they began to have fun.
25 His eldest son was on the field; and coming back, when he approached the house, he heard singing and glee;
26 and, calling one of the servants, asked: what is it?
27 He said to him, "Your brother has come, and your father killed the fatted calf, because he accepted him well."
28 He was angry and did not want to come in. His father, coming out, called him.
29 But he said to his father, "Behold, I have served you for so many years, and have never transgressed your orders, but you have never given me a kid, that I may have merry with my friends;
30 And when this thy son, who hath devoured his possessions with harlots, came, thou hast killed for him a fattened calf.
31 He said to him: My son! you are always with me, and everything is mine,
32 but it was necessary to rejoice and be merry that your brother was dead and came to life, disappeared and was found.
What do we most often mean by love? What is not really love. We always try to fit it into a logical chain of causes and effects, we are always waiting for responses from our beloved people, we demand, we love for the good and we hate for the bad.
There are traditional ecclesiastical interpretations of the parable of the prodigal son, which I certainly accept. But the dimensions of the parable are infinite, and for each of us it will always sound according to our own thoughts and experiences. This parable is, of course, about forgiveness, repentance, the danger of ostentatious goodwill, and about the relationship with God. But for me it is primarily about a single total problem: our inability to love. Therefore, I would like to speak about those three points in the parable, which are especially important to me.
The first moment is the state in which the father runs to meet his son. Although the father does not yet know that the son goes to him with repentance! And if he now nags and says: "Bastard, he gave me little money!" ... But in the first seconds, when he was still far away, his father saw him and took pity! And he does not even go - he runs to meet his son! He already accepted it! He already forgave him! Rather, he did not take offense at him! And he just can not help but run - because he loves. This is love.
The second point is the father's reaction to the fall of his sons. The figure of the father, his actions and words in this parable are stunning. Strikes not only that, but also as he speaks. The Gospel is not really afraid of expressive means, but pay attention: almost nothing is said about the feelings of a loving father in this parable.
When the younger son asked for his share beforehand (part of the inheritance that he rightfully deserves is another matter that you can get it after the death of your father), there is not even a hint that your father was upset or angry. It is important. But his son went to an obvious crime, because in those days when Christ told this parable, squander money, bequeathed by the family, meant to commit a terrible sin. And this is due, first of all, not to the fact that you drank or missed the girls - but with the fact that you refused a very important idea of serving ancestors and descendants, serving the family, the family. To interrupt this chain meant to become an apostate in the eyes of his family. The man who insulted his father was considered a scoundrel and according to the Old Testament law deserved death (for my son was dead and came to life, - the father then says).
But when the son showed his father the demand for his share and thereby threw himself into the abyss of sin, the father simply divided their estate. Not with regret, not with anger, not with a curse or anything else. Just shared. Because where love is, there is a space of freedom.
Note that the father did not run after his son. He did not organize any searches, did not ask his friends to secretly feed his son, as it would have been in some French novel about a kind father who watched, experienced and waited. No, my father worked with his eldest son. My father plowed: he thought about his great-grandsons, he had no time to think about something else. The son left, he made his choice, and he must return himself. This applies to each of us: we ourselves must return to God, if we once refused His help, His intercession.
Similarly, it does not say how the father called his eldest son when he was angry and did not want to enter the house. With love, affectionately, with indignation? Christ says thus: But his father went out and called him. The father just went out to his son, also his beloved. Again, this incredible space of freedom is felt.
But how happy his father is, how he rejoices when the prodigal son returns! The son wanted a better life, he wanted to become the same as his father. Life without a father - we mean life without God - was thought of as something good, independent. But now, he "comes to his senses" (this incredible gerundive - coming to himself!), And realizes all the horror from the loss of wealth, which, of course, is measured not only by money. Father! I have sinned against heaven and before thee! - To say so can only a man repent. It is not worthy to be called your son - that is, I do not ask as much as I had. Now - into mercenaries, now let me live in the basement of the house in which I once had a room. The son understates the bar of his demands to the limit, in his thoughts there was not even a dream of a bull-calf and a ring.
The third point is the abyss into which the elder brother overturns himself. Learning about the cause of universal joy, he does not even enter into the house! With him, in fact, the same trouble happened to his younger brother. He commits exactly the same sin: he condemns his father and renounces his brother. And it does not matter even that he did not go to a distant country, did not bum with harlots. It is important that he crossed his father and brother out of his heart. Although what is his problem? His father loves it! But the eldest son wants him to love him for specific things. He does observe everything! And therefore he should be loved more than a dissolute, ungrateful son, who has gone on a spree. He is not like that!
Yes, he is not. But he thinks like a Pharisee. For him, as for the Pharisees, it is important only external compliance with rules, only external beauty. Everything is mine, "his father tells him. Let's rejoice together that your brother was dead and come to life, disappeared and was found.
And that's all. The parable ends. We do not know what happened to the eldest son. The parable does not end with the words: "Father said so, and together they went to eat the calf." Then it would cease to be a parable, it would be a drama with the promised happy end. But here is an absolutely open finale, and this is precisely the symbolic infinity of the parable.
We all, being in different life situations, can be in the position of both the eldest son and the younger one. And we will leave it in our own way. Someone who has lived this story will say: "My God, how could I ... Father, forgive me! How could I not rejoice at my little brother! Let's go hurry, I'll hug him! "Another person, for example, I, most likely, will stay and say:" I did not think about it ... As you said it - everything is mine ... Thank you ... I'll go think about it a little "- and retire to His chambers reflect on what his father said. The third will say: "Well, you went at all, dad! Then I'll go for a walk, and then I'll be back! "- and it is clear that returning to him will be a hundred times more difficult than his younger brother.
The parable of the prodigal son sounds today at all levels, it tells us not only about our faith. Our society is a society that not only lost God, but also lost a family. How many "generic scars" we have, terrible traumas that we carry from the time when churches were destroyed, when there were so many wars when whole families were blotted out of the face of the earth and their kind was interrupted ... I really miss a common line that would stretch from grandfathers, great-grandfathers, she does not grasp. I do not live in the house my grandfather built. I did not have anything material left of him. We with great-grandparents are not connected by profession. And this terrible sprawl of our life is manifested today in the simplest of things.
For example, when my older daughters decide whether they will go on vacation with me or with their friends. Will they celebrate the New Year in their large family, together with their father, or will they not. Here in such seemingly small things today, the connection with the clan is lost. This is very dangerous, this line should not be interrupted. And here I sit and all this I experience. I have a deep relationship with my daughters, but they both go by their own choice. They took their part. Yes, probably, they "spend" it not so stupidly as the prodigal son. But I do not care about it very much. To blame them for that is stupid. To complain or be indignant is absolutely pointless.
And so, again and again reading the parable of the prodigal son, I linger on the lines and when he was still far away, his father saw him and took pity; and ran, fell on his neck and kissed him. The father is running, and his condition at this moment is very important for me. His run is full of absolute hope. It turns out, and it is necessary to live - hoping endlessly. And on New Year's Eve, my daughters all the same came!
In general, I myself have relatively recently had a reunion with my own father, with whom I had hardly communicated until 40. He was simply not in my life. There was a mother, there was a grandmother, and my father was not. I was not told that my father was a bastard, he left us. No. But they did not tell the other either. They just broke up - and that's it, somehow.
Probably just say: "Oh, I'll go, I'll go to my father" - it's impossible. As a rule, this decision is connected with a strong shock, with repentance. Years ago 10 back in my life, there were such upheavals, related to the loss of people close to me, with many other problems. There was a time when I actually could not walk on two legs, so I felt bad. At some point, a great crisis began. All this was not directly related to the father. But I suddenly saw that much of what is happening in my life is due to his absence. And realizing this, I thought: we must urgently fly to him.
I'm flying to my father and already there I learn about the tragic events that have occurred in his life. I remember that I took along a friend who is engaged in psychology, and we stayed with him for a while in my father's house, by the sea. I talked to each other privately, I tried to digest what was happening, endlessly continued the showdown: who gave up whom, Mom or Dad, why, why, who is to blame, what did my mom say, what did my grandfather say, what did my aunt say, who destroyed what ...
And suddenly - like a flash. At the moment when I firmly convince my friend about how different my father and I are, he says: "Listen, what eyes your father has! Such bright, so deep! "It was an incredible moment: his words just crashed into me, I seemed to come out of some abyss. I suddenly realized that I should look at this person not through the prism of some 30 or 40 years ago deeds, not through clarifying the details of who betrayed whom and who failed, not through reproaches for the childhood spent without him, for my mother ... To swarm in this ... Is it right? Of course, this does not mean that we should completely stop paying attention to facts, but all this should not change anything in my initial attitude to my father. Gratitude and prayer are the first. And with God is not it? ..
I have three children, and each of them I gave a completely different amount of time and attention. If we talk about the two older daughters, then it will be more correct to use the verb "I did not give". But I still hope that in them the attitude towards parents will be won as an unconditional divine datum. I really hope for it. Not because of selfishness, not because I want someone to pity you and take care of you in old age. Not at all. It's just that I felt it on my own. And without realizing this, they will not go on, they will endlessly spin in the wheel of selfishness.
Sometimes I do trainings, which are attended by a large number of different adults and young people. And every time I am amazed, to the fact that almost all have complicated relationships with their parents. Everyone thinks that this is his secret, that this is only his situation is so complicated. Everything is so good around - only I do not really. But when we start to touch on these things, when we start to understand, talk about ourselves, about love, about marriage, about the relationship of a man and a woman, everything gets out. Once I very simply, like banality, said this phrase: "If you do not have problems with your parents, if you are not with your father or mother in a relationship of love and joy, do not expect that you will be fine in your own family ". And at that moment the audience simply starts to turn, tear apart! And someone is open, someone at a break or after class approaches to me and, almost clutching to the wall, reads passionately: "What are you talking about ?! What kind of love, if he just took and left, if he left us ?! What kind of nonsense are you talking about! No, I have a wife, I have love with her, and this is not with my father! For what to love him, if he ... "- and further details begin ... How for what? For what it is. Because he gave birth to you.
The parable of the prodigal son not only shows, on the example of his father, what it means to love for real. It also shows how it is sometimes difficult and painful for children to love their father, to whom there are claims. I think that the eldest son still has a lot to say. If you arrange a hearing, oh, how many he will say! And, probably, he will begin from the very childhood: "It all began long ago. This younger son has always been a favorite ... "- and this darkness and horror begins, in which we so often overturn ourselves. And then we again have a way to repentance, to "coming to oneself." Infinitely wise parable ...
Prepared by Daria Barinova