In the parable we heard this past Sunday, we have both a prodigal son who spends lavishly and a prodigal father who loves with the same encompassing abandon. For some reason it put me in mind of The Wizard of Oz as Dorothy learns that she has within her the power to return home. She just needs to know her heart’s desire. It evoked questions in me: What is my heart’s desire? What do I gain and what must I sacrifice in seeking it? What do my mistakes along the way teach me? Who helps me, challenges me, welcomes me, celebrates me? When do I become the one who forgives, welcomes and celebrates?

Read Luke 15: 11-32 and then watch the ending of The Wizard of Oz. (If you don’t have a copy, it is easily found on YouTube.) Spend some time with the rich images in both and allow God to speak to your heart’s desire. Perhaps you might begin or end with this prayer from St. Ignatius of Loyola:

Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous;

teach me to serve you as you deserve,

to give and not to count the cost,

to fight and not to heed the wounds,

to toil and not to seek for rest,

to labor and not to seek reward,

except that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.

Sister Laura Bregar