Words of Jesus to Faustina recounted in her Diary, par. 1728
The father’s response to the older son, “everything I have is yours,” is important since it reveals something about the parable and its deeper meanings that is not obvious to us in this modern era. Sonship was the equivalent of being an heir. The two realities went hand-in-hand in that culture and they were inseparable. When the father welcomes the prodigal back as a “son,” there is an obvious concern on the part of the older son, even though he doesn’t verbalize it. His father assures him there will be no new property split but the prodigal’s reinstatement without inheritance defines a new sonship for all listeners. When we return to God and repent, we are all, male and female, made sons, new heirs of the Father’s Heavenly Kingdom.
This is what St. Paul is saying to us and the Corinthians when he says, “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God.” The old things to which Paul refers are the old materialistic ways of looking at our relationship with God, who said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.”
The Israelites were not chosen people because they were special or unique from everyone else. They became special because they were chosen. In the same way, we do not become sons of the Father because we are special or holy or good. We become sons through our willingness to repent and allow God to make us holy through the Sacraments, which are the new things, gifts of the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, that make His invisible presence known to us in a visible way and make us heirs to His divine life of Grace. Perhaps we can think of the sandals as being our Baptism, the cloak our Confirmation, and the banquet the feast of the Eucharist on which we feed when we consume Christ, so that He can consume us.