Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Why do people look for substitutes for God? And in the end do they really find happiness and peace? The answer to the second question is emphatically NO, but the answer to the primary query is much more complicated. Both the reading form Exodus and the Gospel of the Prodigal Son invite us to ponder this dilemma. One of the reasons may be that people look for quick and immediate answers to the problems that beset them.
When Moses went up the mountain of Sinai he remained there for 40 days in conversation with God. The Israelites became impatient. They demanded an immediate response from God and in the interim, they decided to fabricate their own notion, and how ridiculous it was, of God as a grass-eating calf. We might think that rather peculiar, but what about the “golden” idols we create for ourselves that are just as vacuous. Wasted time and effort are sunk into similar worthless pursuits.
The Prodigal (extravagant spending) son in the parable also has an impatient and arrogant heart. Basically he is saying to his father:” I wish you were dead so I can get my cut of the will.” The living father also is extravagant more in love and mercy than in money when he bankrolls his son and then begins his interior suffering. He hopes that the wayward son will return. The son soon realizes that his idols have turned to dust and reduced him to a miserable existence. Do we ever think that our Heavenly Father may be “suffering” for the loss of His children? Many today are pursuing idols bereft of compassion, mercy, and love and the sad emptiness of their lives are preparing them for disastrous consequences. May the pertinence of these words from Sacred Scripture touch the hearts of the lost and speedily bring them back to the Father’s house.
Within the past month many of our parishioners have rallied together for our very successful fund-raisers. From golf-tournament and bake sales at St. Joseph, to penny social at St Bernard, and the flea market at St John/St. Mary Magdalen, and the upcoming Spaghetti dinner on September 24th., how good it is to see our faithful pitching-in for the love and prosperity of the parish. Thanks to all who participated in any way and may that wonderful enthusiasm continue to flourish.