My sister and I weren’t given an allowance for doing our chores growing up. My parents’ reasoning for this went something along the lines of “you’re allowed to have a room in our house,” or “you’re allowed to eat the food we buy.” And that was usually the end of the discussion.
And while at the time this seemed unfair, looking back, I can see they had a point.
As a member of the household, of course I should share in the responsibility of keeping things tidy. And while I didn’t see the generosity of my parents in the form of a weekly paycheck, they certainly did everything in their power to provide me with the things I needed, and within reason, those that I wanted.
In a way, my parents’ refusal to formally grant an allowance echoes the story Jesus shares in the Gospel of Luke today (Luke 17:7-10). "Is he [the master] grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?" (Luke 17:9)
In other words, would your boss give you a bonus because you did work you were hired to do?
And I can’t help but wonder, do I ever ask that of God?
Are there times when I’m expecting an answer to my prayer because I’ve "done my chores"?
Lord, I’ve participated in the Sacraments, practiced the Corporal Works of Mercy, and am learning to be patient when my spouse leaves dishes in the sink . . . oh, and I made the bed! Could you maybe lend a hand with that promotion now? Or resolve that conflict? Or (insert prayer request here)?
Sisters, we have a generous God of abundance Who loves to shower us with blessings. But that doesn’t mean we will be granted every exact desire, right when we want it, if at all—no matter how objectively good it may be.
Yet as hard as the 'no' may be right now, I pray for the patience to move through the pain and confusion and one day be able to understand how through His goodness, that 'no' has led to an even greater 'yes.'
Learn more about Saint Josaphat whose feast day we celebrate today.
Sarah Rose is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.