Lent Reflection: Fit for a Pig – the Second Feast

After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

– Luke 15.14-16

The second feast or meal which we find in the story of the Prodigal Son is in stark contrast to last week’s. Last week the feast was a celebration of wealth and partying. This week, it’s when even the Pigs are better off than the Prodigal Son. This engraving by Dürer sometime in the late 1400s illustrates this ‘feast’ perfectly.

Durer Varkens
Albrecht Dürer – The Prodigal Son c.1496

 Churchill once said:

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Yet for this Jewish Son, being an equal with pigs – in fact, being lower than the pigs (note the way the pigs are staring at him while they eat) – would have been deeply shaming. Some feast, huh?

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