The elder son represents the Jews and the younger the Gentiles (Cyril of Alexandria).
To leave his fatherís house is to depart from himself into a far country. It is like leaving the Church, separating himself from Christ. The famine he experiences is the famine of Godís Word, and his hunger comes from not receiving the spiritual nourishment. His desperation causes him to attach himself to a citizen of that country who must be a Gentile, since he owns pigs (Ambrose).
The irony is that he has traded the splendor of his Fatherís house for a bed among swine (Peter Chrysologus).
Despite his sin, the Spirit has not departed from him, and he is still a son who knows the love and mercy of his Father (Philoxenus of Mabbug).
To return to the Fatherís house is to return to Eden and be united with his dear ones (Ephrem).
This is his first confession in which he seeks reconciliation with the Father (Ambrose).
It makes us think back to our first experience of goodness, the home land from which we went forth. It awakens in us the hope of returning there. It is the nostos Algos. As soon as he executes the plan he is in the middle of a party. The same happens to us also when we go for a confession just before the Holy Mass and then all of a sudden found ourselves vested in the midst of a ceremony.