Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest who spent a retreat studying Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal. Through the experience, he probed the meaning of the parable through the eye of the artist and went on a spiritual journey that helped him to realize that the characters in the story represent stages in spiritual formation.
We all start off as prodigals. And then, over time, we grow into the role of the older brother. Hopefully, we eventually become like the father figure.
Click on the following link which is a high resolution copy of Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal.
Read the parable of the prodigal son found in Luke 15 slowly and study each character in the painting. Describe each character as reflected both in the text and in the painting. Study the picture as Henri Nouwen did. Where do you see yourself?
Finally, watch this interesting take on the story of the prodigal. Write down your first impressions.