The two sons in the parable of the Prodigal Son were both sinners (Luke 15: 11-32). The younger one was a public sinner while the elder, presumably the good boy, was a sinner just the same with a difference. The younger boy realized the depths of degradation that he had reached because of his sinful life and repentant returned to his father’s house whereas the elder, full of anger, resentment and self-righteousness, distanced himself from his father’s house and his brother.
We are all sinners, whether we are the younger child with our sins more visible or the elder with our sins hidden. We all need to repent and return to the Father’s house. If we are the younger child we need to change our lifestyle and be responsible and obedient. If we are the elder we need to turn back from our anger and resentment and learn to share more and to accept others
more, no matter who they are or what they did.
In reality, the elder son was the one who chose to suffer more because he preferred to keep carrying alone the burden of his sins. He preferred to exclude himself from the family’s celebrations and denied himself the joy of the fruit of his own labour – he didn’t even taste the fatted calf that he had helped to raise. All this because he stuck to his own ideas of fairness and justice and failed to see that his father’s ideas and also those of God are much more different than ours. And thank God for that!