Posted on Mar 13, 2021

14 March 2021

Over the years I have had the good fortune to watch a lot of people grow up.

From the young people at St. Pat’s to the students at Newman, to the children in this parish.

In particular one child was only 12 days old when I first met him.

His parents were in the military and when they came home from Berlin, they brought him.

He turned out to be an only child, and in the beginning I was sure that would mean a spoiled child.

His parents have always wanted the best for him–

And they had more patience with him than I did.

When he was stubborn and would not eat his vegetables,

I said:  “No other food, no deserts or snacks or anything else.”

But his parents were more patient with him–and with me.

Always offering and encouraging, never forcing those vegetables.

Once when I was visiting this young boy and his parents,

he did something that I thought was really disrespectful to them.

I was more outraged than they were.  And reacted rather quickly.

“Go to your room,” I said, “and don’t come out until you’ve said you are sorry.”

Well, we continued to watch TV, and it wasn’t until a little while later that it occurred to me that I had placed him in an impossible bind–of course it was possible that the would never get out of his room–he had no way to tell his parents he was sorry as long as he was there and we were in the living room.

And it was just as I was thinking that that a paper airplane came zipping down the hallway and landed in the living room.  On it he had written:  “I’m sorry, can I come out now?”

He is a creative little son of a gun.

The time has gone by quickly.  He’s all grown up now and has a family of his own.

And as it turns out all the hoping and dreaming his parents have done for him has taken root.

He has turned out much like this parents, warm and loving.

Now, what does all this have to do with the fourth Sunday of Lent?

Just this, If we are to talk about God as the Scriptures do,

we have to recognize that he has great hopes and dreams for us.

His great love, says Paul in the second reading, makes him

patient and rich in mercy.

When Nicodemus says to Jesus, “Tell me about God.”

Jesus responds, “Oh God, you mean my father. Well, he’s not the type to condemn.

No, he’s always ready to forgive, to give another chance.”

On the fourth Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the memory and the activity of this God of ours who

continues to be rich in mercy and patience.

Like the boy that I’ve known and watch grow up something of his parents has taken root in him.

God still waits, hopes and dreams, that something of his life will take root in us.