Bulletin: November 12, 2017
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
In Jesus’ parable of the ten bridesmaids, only the bridesmaids who brought oil with them had enough to light their lamps. By being prepared, they were welcomed into the wedding feast, while the unprepared ones found the door locked on their return. We may hear Jesus’ parable of the bridesmaids who did not take oil for their lamps with them to the wedding, and think, “I would not be so shortsighted. You never know what is going to happen.” Yet, are we really prepared to meet our Lord at the moment of our death or in the second coming of Christ? Are we, people who profess faith in Jesus, ready for the bridegroom who is Christ our Lord? Or are we more like the foolish bridesmaids than we want to admit? We know neither the day nor the hour. We must be ready.
Don’t Be Foolish
What is foolish? What is wise? Most of us could name an occasion or two in which we have done something foolish. We did not stop to consider the consequences of our actions and regretted them in the end. The sort of foolishness we are considering here, however, is more than simple impulsive behavior and has eternal consequences. To be foolish in the eyes of God is to ignore the ways in which we know we are called to behave—toward God, others, and ourselves. The five foolish bridesmaids did not fail in their duties through their actions, but rather through inaction. Like them, we may fail to be ready to meet our Lord, through inaction as much as through our actions. In these final weeks of the liturgical year, we are urged to take stock. How are we, or are we not, living as people whose faith directs our lives? Are we foolish through sinful action or inaction? Do we care for others and for ourselves, as we know we ought? Or do we act instead as though we have all the time in the world in which to embrace Christ’s way of mercy, forgiveness, justice, love, and peace? Do we fail to recognize that Christian discipleship is a way of life?
Be Wise, Be Ready
This urging to be ready for Christ’s return is not intended to frighten us, but rather to focus our attention on the things that matter. Wisdom lies in seeking God in all things. With the Psalmist, the wise person prays, “My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God” (Psalm 63:2b). Christ’s way is not hidden from us, as though we are playing a game of hide and seek. It is “readily perceived” (Wisdom 6:12) by all who love God. We know the way through the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, Christ’s great command to wash one another’s feet, to love and serve with glad hearts. To act accordingly is to be wise, and those who are wise will be ready.
Today’s Readings: Wis 6:12–16; Ps 63:2–8; 1 Thes 4:13–18 [13–14]; Mt 25:1–13