Not all of the prodigals are in a distant country of their own free will. Some have been sent and kept there by the greed, the arrogance, the pride, the indifference of a respectable sibling or parent who stayed at home and kept the rules. The prodigals of the world have this in their favor. They know they are sinners and know that they need to repent. It is the prodigal son who returned home admitting to his father that he is a sinner.