In last Sunday’s Gospel, Luke 15: 11-32 was the Parable of the Lost Son.
The latter part of the parable refers to the older brother who was angry. This was because the Father embraced the son who had left and spent all his inheritance on himself while he dutifully stayed at home.
There are three points I would like to make that illustrate the elder brother’s response.
Firstly, the elder brother feels unappreciated by the Father as he stayed home and did what he was asked while the younger brother got to go out and have a good time.
Secondly, he felt jealousy and resentment towards the younger brother. He also would have felt the Father favoured his younger brother because on his return he was rewarded by the Father with a party while he had never received the offer of any celebration.
Finally, the question for the elder brother is he needs to question what his motivation is for working on his Father’s property. At the moment he is looking at the actions of his Father and brother purely from his own point of view.
I believe through the elder brother, Jesus is challenging us to change our perceptions towards any situation despite what we may believe result in unfair outcomes. He is asking us to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and perhaps our view of what occurred may change. God through the forgiving Father has demonstrated that no matter the situation there will always be love and compassion for us. The change comes from us.