By Sister Catherine Cleary, OSB
Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, his final destination.
He passes through towns and villages, teaching people what they must do to be saved.
He has shared the parables of the lost – the lost coin and the lost sheep, and now he shares the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:1-3, 11-32).
The Prodigal Son is perhaps one of the best known Gospel stories. The reason, of course, is that all of us are prodigal heirs of God, and apt to lose our way.
We want everything, and we want it NOW.
We don’t want to wait until eternity for a blissful life. We never want sickness, poverty, discouragement, sadness to cross our path. After all we believe in God, we keep the commandments, we deserve peace and happiness … right?
Like the Prodigal Son, we want heaven on earth; we want our inheritance now.
In the Gospel, it is God, our Father who is prodigal, lavishing us with the gifts of health, family, peace and a certain amount of prosperity.
Like the Prodigal Son, we do not recognize it. We lose our way.
We want perfection, as we define it.
Questions for Reflection …
Which son do you resemble:
1) Jesus’ follower who does what is expected of her or him and is proud of it?
2) Jesus’ follower who wants and expects the good things of heaven NOW with no suffering, no problems, no troubles?
3) Both? Neither?
4) Let your mind and heart wander as you explore who you have been, who you are now, who you seek to be.
5) Where are you in your Gospel journey? Are you grateful for what is in your life right now, including the sorrow and pain and joy and peace? Can you embrace the Psalm 118: “This is the Day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.”?