Thirty – Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25: 1-13
It used to be, back in the day, when we were going to visit our grandparents we would have to wash up, put on clean clothes, which meant pants with no holes in them, and we told, that we would have to behave ourselves. When we arrived, we had to greet grandpa and grandma, with a hug and a kiss, and sit on the couch or floor, and pretend to be angels. Now this behavior was ok, in the short run, but if we had to do it for too long something was going to happen. Now with grandpa Cloutier, my mom’s father, he had a stroke and could not talk, so I never remember him saying a word, but he had a gift. Grandpa could tell when we were getting to the end of our goodness, so he would get up and go over to a tall china cabinet and pull down a beautiful white container that he kept filled with M&M’s. He would scoop a big handful of M&M’s and pour them one at a time into our little hands; then he would motion for us to go out in the backyard and play. You see, for us four boys and one girl we could only stay good for a short while, and that was it. Our readings today are about staying prepared for the short run but also for the long run.
In our first reading of the book of Wisdom, we hear, that if we want to be prepared for all things in Christ Jesus, we are to seek wisdom as a prize, we are not to sit back waiting for wisdom to find us. We are to cultivate a spirit of knowing God’s will, and we do this by seeking wisdom. To seek wisdom is to have a “holy indifference” and what I mean by that is when our will matches with God’s will. When whatever decision we are trying to make we can say, “God, here is where I am at, if you have a different plan, I know that you will be with me, please show me your way.”
In our Gospel, we hear the parable of the ten maidens who were waiting for the bridegroom to come. At a wedding during the time of Jesus, the bridegroom was the main person, not the bride. Sorry ladies! What would happen is the bridegroom would be at his home, and the bride would be at her home. The bridegroom would leave his home to receive his bride, along the way would be the intended guests and bridal party. When the bridegroom arrived at the home of his bride he would have all those with him who would be attending their wedding, he would then escort his bride and all the guest back to where the wedding and party would be taking place. In this parable, we hear of ten maidens who are waiting, but only five have prepared well by bringing extra oil and five maidens who did not prepare well because they did not bring any extra oil. When the bridegroom arrives very late, only those maidens who prepared well by bringing extra oil were allowed to come into the party. Now I know what you may be thinking, why did they just not share their oil? Remember, parables are always to teach us something we did not see coming. In this case, it is, we cannot share our salvation with another, we can share our faith, but the person has to own their own salvation their own oil, and then they will be prepared to enter the kingdom of God.
We know that Christ is coming, but how are we preparing for his coming, in the short run, and the long run? How is our prayer life, are we receiving the sacraments as much as we are able? Are we living the corporal and spiritual works of mercy? This is how we prepare for Christ coming, may we be wise and not foolish this week.