03.06.16: Always worth the wait
Bulletin column for St. Mary's Parish, Griffith, Ind.
Remember the movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory?” Not the remake, the trippy 1960s version. In that movie, there was a bratty little girl named Veruca Salt, who would nag her father incessantly for whatever she wanted until he gave in and gave it to her. She had a song in the movie, where she exclaimed, “Don’t care how, I want it now!”
I think a lot of us suffer from a strain of this disease I like to call “Veruca Salt Syndrome.” I know, because I’m one of those afflicted. I know what I like, I know what I want and I want it on my timeframe. Nowhere is this more problematic than in my spiritual life. I want God to hear my prayers and I want him to hear them now, on my timeframe. Trouble is, He rarely does.
I think the same holds true of the son in today’s Gospel who longs for his inheritance. He wants what he believes is coming to him and he doesn’t care how, he wants it now. This is entitlement. The son did nothing to earn his inheritance, other than being born. Yet, he felt an ownership of it and entitlement to it.
Ultimately, he gets what’s coming to him. He gets his inheritance, a dose of humble pie when it runs out, and he gets the mercy of his father.
Friends, we’re all prodigal sons. We all have certain wants, yet our loving and merciful God always provides for what we need: compassion and understanding.
As we continue our Lenten journey, may we keep this at the center of our path, always remembering that God is there for all we need, and no matter what, we can always run into his loving arms.
In joyful hope,