The readings this weekend at Mass had to do with the story of the Prodigal Son. But Fr. Darrell’s take on the reading was more like the prodigal father. And when he was talking this way he implied that the father in the story was the same as our Father in heaven. That made me think. He defined “prodigal” as “spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wasteful extravagant”. That made me think. And I think it was the point he was trying to make. I took it that God, our Father, is immensely extravagant. He’ll give us all that He has. He only asks one thing of us, to follow Him.
But then I started thinking about inheritance. The prodigal son asked for his inheritance early. I don’t think I could do that. If you were to get your inheritance before you were entitled to it, to me, it’s like asking for the person who is “leaving” you something to leave. Now, if I had a rich old aunt that I didn’t know about that was going to leave me a gazillion dollars, I might want a part of it right now. But I think I know about all of my aunts and I can tell you that none of them are rich. But if I did . . .
When my grandmother died, I inherited a small sewing rocker that I had bought for her. I had bought it at an antique store. She had been with me and told me about her mother having one of those. I was so proud that I was able to take my babysitting money and go back to that store and buy it for her. When she died, her daughter, my aunt, gave it to me. I treasured that little rocker. I still have it although I wouldn’t recommend sitting in it.
When my father died my mother inherited everything. We didn’t know there was anything to get. About a year or so before my mother died she started giving everything away. She put our names on everything. What she didn’t divvy up, we did not long after she died. We had all of the furniture to get rid of, just all kinds of things. It seems strange to me now, but I ended up with quite a bit. Through the years I have lost some of those precious items but other things I still have. It’s a shame that I have allowed the memories of those items diminish. Sometimes you just have to move on. Every once in a while I note a table that Mom got from her aunt or a pair of earrings and I remember what Mom used to wear those earrings with. They’re nothing special except I can still see her wearing them, some 30 years later. I kept Mom’s Evan Picon red suit too. It was a size 6. It’s been awhile since I’ve been a size six. I wanted to give it to my daughter one day. If I had made up my mind that I wanted to do that then I should have taken better care of the suit because when I pulled it out for my daughter to wear it for senior pictures it had all kinds of moth holes in it. Oh well, it still made me smile. Just like my son wore my daddy’s suit coat for his senior pictures. Again, moth holes; again, it didn’t matter. He looked so much like my daddy in that jacket.
But if God promises us the kingdom of heaven, do I expect that I will go around putting my name on the bottom of items I want? I don’t think so. You know, I’ve never wandered what I would do if I am lucky enough to make it to heaven. I’ve never considered how my existence will be. I just want to be there. I just want to be welcomed in. It doesn’t matter if the streets are lined with gold, I won’t care. All I want is the streets to be lined with those who have gone before me. I want to see my grandmothers again. I want to sit down and analyze my life with my mom and dad. I want to hold my precious granddaughter Lucy in my arms, for all eternity. And I want to bask in the glow of the Father and His Son.
I know that God has been extravagant with me. I know that He has given me anything and everything that I need. He might not always answer my prayers but He knows what’s good for me, and what’s not. Now if only I could figure that out then I feel that I will be welcomed into His arms. Because when it comes down to it, that’s all I could ever want.