Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who wants Big Money?

Photo by Jane Winstead
Shawn Abentroth displays the Big Money Father Tim was extravagantly handing out to illustrate the point of his homily.

By Jane Winstead

That was the question Father Tim asked as he started his homily on Sunday, September 12. He proceeded to throw the Big Money that he was holding out into the congregation. He was being extravagant with the money.

Then he shared with us about lost items. He said that the average person in their lifetime spends about a year looking for lost items.

As we read in the Gospel of Luke 15:1-32 about three different parables: lost sheep, lost coin and the lost son, Prodigal Son. Did you know that the word prodigal is not in the Bible? The word prodigal means extravagant. Our Father in Heaven love for us is extravagant. Just like the father with the two sons in the Gospel reading.

The younger son wanted his share of his father’s estate and the father divided up property between them and the younger son collected his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.

After a severe famine struck he found himself in dire need. Coming to his senses he realized that he sinned against heaven and against his father and he decided to return to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and he was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. He repented to his father, and the father ordered his servants to quickly bring the finest robe and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet and take the fatted calf and slaughter it.

The father wanted to celebrate because his son was lost and has been found. The father had extravagant love for his son. This is how our Heavenly Father loves us. Our heavenly Father has extravagant love for us.

Who is worthy of the Father’s love? Who is worthy of coming to church and receiving the sacraments? We are all not worthy, but our God’s extravagant love makes us worthy. He is waiting for us to receive His extravagant love.

Father Tim shared with us about the story of the two young men wanting to bury their friend, a soldier. They came to a Catholic Church with a graveyard beside it.

The young soldiers asked the priest if they could bury their friend and the priest asked if their friend was a Catholic and they said no. The priest told them that this cemetery was only for Catholics, but they could bury their friend outside the fence and the priest assured them that he would care for the grave site.

After a time, the soldiers came to visit the grave site, but they could not find it, so they asked the priest if he moved the grave. The priest explained that he thought about the location of it, so they asked the priest where did he moved the grave and the priest told them that he did not move the grave, but he moved the fence.

This is what God wants to do is move the fence and let us in His extravagant love. All we have to do is to allow His extravagant love in.

Photo: Father Tim holds up the Big Money during his homily.

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