Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time C 2010

When I was a seminarian, a couple of friends of mine from college asked if I would go to Las Vegas with them.  I hesitated about going because I did not have a lot of money but they promised to cover the car rental, hotel, and gas.  So I thought to myself, why not?  We left early in the morning drove all through the night.  I was praying as we drove through the mountains because one of my friends thought he should be driving 90 miles an hour.  We arrive on Friday morning in Las Vegas tired.  I went to a Star Trek convention with them in the afternoon and Saturday morning. 

It was now Saturday evening, and we were leaving the next day.  I wanted to go to mass so they dropped me off at the Cathedral for the evening mass.  They told me that I could either catch a cab or walk to the Hilton for the Star Trek experience.  That is where we were to meet.  I attend mass and decide just to walk to the Hilton.  I knew it would be a good distance but I wanted to explore a bit.  I arrive at the Hilton and start walking around but they are nowhere to be seen.  I walk through the large hotel and casino repeatedly but they are not there.  Where could they be?  I decided to go play the slots while I was waiting…10 minutes later and $20 poorer I started walking through the hotel again.  Again, no sight of them.  I thought to myself, did they go back to our hotel?  Did they go out to eat?  I sat in the hotel for another half hour and I decided that I would go back to our hotel on the other side of the strip. 

I walked for over an hour to the hotel, passing many colorful lights along the way.  I return to the hotel and looked for the rental car, but it was not in the lot.  As I was going to the front desk to get a key to the room, they had both keys, I remembered the room was not in my name.  The hotel certainly would not let me in the room.  So I walked up and down the strip returning once in a while.  I was tired and dirty; I just wanted to get in the room, take a shower, and sleep.  At midnight I could not take it anymore, I went to the restaurant in the hotel and ate supper.  After eating, I sat on a curb outside angry because of what happened.  Finally, at 2am, just as I am falling asleep the car pulls up and they get out.  We kept missing each other but now they returned and let me in the room.

Most of us wait for something in our lives.  We wait on other people so we can get in the hotel room.  We wait on grandpa or grandma to come and bring us gifts.  We wait for summer to come so we can go on vacation.  The ladies of the parish have waited 150 years to be recognized and be fed with a pancake and sausage breakfast.  We wait and many times, we wait impatiently.  We want what we want now, but do we really want the kingdom of God here and now?  I mean we will sit outside a store all night just to be able to purchase a product or to purchase tickets for a concert but we fall asleep before we can even pray to God.  We look longingly at products like an Apple i-pad or a new computer or a new brand of makeup but do we look forward to the kingdom God wants to bestow upon us?

If we want the kingdom, sometimes we have to sit on the hard curb and trust that God is with us.  Sometimes when everything seems lost, God arrives in varied ways but if we fall asleep, we might just miss it.

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