Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Prodigal Son & Chambray (What I Wore Sunday)

Yesterday morning, David and I went to Mass and Confession for the second Saturday of our First Five Saturday series.  The Gospel reading was the well-known story of the prodigal son.

Our priest gave an excellent homilyI am sure that most Christians have heard this story so many times that they could retell it quite accurately.  I am sure that you have also heard many similar homilies/sermons on the parable as well - about forgiveness and jealousy, about mercy and love and repentance.  I alternately identify with both the older and the younger son, and always seem to take something new from the story.  But what Fr. Steven addressed in his homily was something completely new to me: the history behind this parable. 

You see, Jesus did not invent this story.  It began similarly to an old Jewish parable, but ended quite differently.  In the original tale, the youngest son squanders his father's inheritance and returns home seeking forgiveness and to work as his father's servant.  But his father does not run to greet him (an outward sign of emotion and physical exertion would have been below the status of a wealthy Jewish man), but when he is found in the household, he proceeds to turn his son away, to tell him that he regards him as dead to him.  Then he finds his faithful older son and rewards him for his loyalty by giving him all he has.  Quite different than the story we know, huh?

Fr. Steven preceded to tell us that the Jewish people regarded this as not only a tale to keep their sons in line, but also as an allegory of the relationship between God and his people The father's love was conditional - I love you if you follow my rules, if you do not embarrass me - and so Jews believed was the love of God.  When Jesus changed the ending of this parable to represent mercy and love instead of punishment and justice, he was overturning the faith's understanding of God.

Imagine the response of those listening to him.  They knew the ending of the story, they had heard it since childhood, and here was this man presenting an alternate ending.  Actually, we don't really need to imagine it, the message of mercy in the prodigal son is just as counter-cultural in our modern society as it was in Christ's time.   Many of us expect (or want) an ending like the original story.  Those who do good things should be rewarded, right?  Those who do bad should have to live with the consequences.  I like that sense of justice.  Yet, when I really contemplate justice and consequences, I realize that although I may not have not gone as far as to squander my inheritance, I am certainly not without sin and am deserving of punishment.  I am so very grateful for the mercy of my Heavenly Father.
While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him...
..."Let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found."
Ok, on to what I wore (for Mass both yesterday morning and today.  Don't judge.):

 pink shirt: IZ Byer California | chambray shirt: Lucky
slacks: LOFT | shoes: Target | sunglasses: Gucci

This shirt makes me feel like a "fashion fortune teller".  I've had it maybe eight years, long before chambray was "in".  And honestly, I haven't worn it all that much, so I'm surprise I didn't get rid of it during my several moves.  So glad I didn't, because I feel so fancy wearing something that's actually "trendy".  I think this outfit would look great with my purple skinnies, but they're just not fancy enough for me to wear them to church, even if they are pretty fabulous.

I also think this needs a statement necklace, but alas, I do not own one.  I've been eying this one from my boutique though:

You may notice I'm wearing sunglasses.  (Yes, they are real Gucci.  A hand-me-down from a relative that can afford many things I'll never be able to.)  I never wear sunglasses in posts.  They're hiding the huge bags under my eyes.  I woke up quite bright-eyed this morning, but after wrangling a screaming toddler for sixty minutes, I felt (and looked) like I'd just run a marathon. Needless to say, Lulu's mass behavior = F---  I learned a valuable lesson though.  I will be less tired waking up super early to go to Mass before naptime than I will sleeping late and trying to control a recently walking hellion during Mass.

I'm linking up to Fine Linen and Purple's What I Wore Sunday linkup.  Check it out for more church attire inspiration.


  1. I wanted to stop by via FL&P to say thank you for being a part of such a fun giveaway!! I really have a heart for supporting small family business, for getting away from chain stores and trying to shop local/etsy etc. I'm excited to pass on your jewelry site to my family and friends! Have a great week!

  2. Beth (A Mom's Life)March 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I love the chambray paired with the black! Looks great!

  3. I love the chambray top! I want a tunic-y one to wear with leggings, I think it would be very mom of me ;) (and I mean that in the most fashionista mom way of course!!)

  4. Thanks for sharing that story - I never knew that the Jewish version of the prodigal son was so different!
    You look great - don't you love it when it's worth it to hang on to that piece of clothing?

  5. I love that you had that chambray top long before they were so popular :) It looks great.

  6. Thanks! It's so fun to be ahead of the trends!

  7. wow!! thanks for sharing the "real" prodigal son story! great chambray shirt! i love it with the pink underneath!

  8. I really appreciate you sharing it! And good luck in the giveaway!

  9. Rosie, it was so interesting to me to hear that the parable was based on a different traditional story that I just felt I had to share.

  10. Yes, definitely! (I have a top like that so I know what you mean!)

  11. Oh, my goodness, I never realized the background of the prodigal son story! Thank you so much for sharing that!
    And you look adorable. So sorry for the mass screaming. Those situations always made me sweat!

  12. I saw your link on I <3 my Blog hop, and I am so glad I read it. I have heard this story so many times and never really thought about the history involved. Thanks for that insight!

  13. That really is a beautiful reflection on the prodigal son story! And you look great, Mandi--I'm really digging the layered collar look!

  14. Thank you, Stephanie! I feel like I'm finally getting comfortable "creating" my own outfits and liking the results! I think it just takes practice like anything else!

  15. Doesn't that add so much to the meaning of the story? I can't believe I didn't learn about it earlier. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. You're welcome, Jeannine. I guess I was right in thinking that I'm not the only one that hadn't heard it was an old tale that Jesus used to teach!

    A man left the lobby with his sleeping newborn when Lucia was crying - made me feel awful!


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