Prodigal: characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditurelavish
Eyelids drooping Wednesday night, I read the next day’s gospel in the book “The Better Part” by Father John Bartunek LC, our group’s chosen read this year. The word for the next day’s gospel that jumped out at me was LAVISH. Describing how God wants to pour His unprecedented love over our lives. “Lavish….lavish…lavish..” was the lullaby that accompanied me to sleep.
Meeting to reflect on this Sunday’s gospel, little did I realize God had given me this word the night before preemptively for my understanding of the Parables we would pray with together the next day.
Reflections from the group:
- I always pictured myself being the older son with a spirit of “that’s not fair” in my life. After receiving the sacrament of confession this morning, I feel so loved and gratefully for God’s Mercy that I know now we are ALL the prodigal son. Last night I read the word “LAVISH” used to describe God’s love for us. I feel more understanding today of that great love having been forgiven of my sin.
- The word “Prodigal” actually means lavish. God’s Love for all of us is that of the prodigal son. That fattened calf and celebration is for me!
- The father sees his son at a far off distance and come rushing to embrace him. God waits for the smallest movement from us toward him and completes the embrace with His mercy and compassion.
- Becoming a parent helped me understand the enduring mercy of God. Father said “when kids are little they step on our toes. When they get older they step on our hearts”. My father was so happy to see us and embrace us despite all of the mistakes and things we had done in our lives. He wants us at his table celebrating with him.
“Do you know how much God loves you?” The question many of us have been asked by a spiritual advisor when seeking answers. “Sure.” We say, no where NEAR understanding the magnitude of the answer.
The Case of the Prodigal Father
Like our gospel (though we didn’t know it at the time) our story through the lens of faith this week was about a father who had many children ages 3 to late teens. Limited in finances he longed to “lavish” his children but with his limited resources, but what could he do? His children loved to drink juice. He had heard of a company over the border of the country that had an unparalleled juice and so he traveled a long path to get some.
Calling his children together upon his return, he made an announcement about his esoteric find only to be rebuffed by the teenagers, who were peeved by the interruption.
One by one the children rejected his offer and soon all that remained was his smallest child who held up her cup to be filled. Graciously, she said thank you for the juice and enjoyed it with her father.
We often treat God our Father as the teenagers in this story. We are too busy for His generosity, especially when it doesn’t come in the package that we imagine.
How we will act: reach out to thank someone who (through discernment of prayer if necessary) we appreciate and explain why we are grateful.
How we will pray; an hour of Eucharistic adoration to thank God for our “juice” (His Lavish Love) and bring our biggest “cups” to let Him fill us up with His great grace so we can extend it to others.
“The Secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness”.
–St Gianna Beretta Molla