From the Pastor's Desk
This Sunday’s readings bring the usual warnings about preparation for the end of our own world, the end of our own time and our passage to another world. They tell us that a searching, watching and evolving heart is essential for a lively, dynamic Faith in God. They ask us whether we are ready for these events and how we are preparing for them.
Because Jesus’ parable in today’s Gospel has five well-prepared, wise women’
The first reading chosen for today is one which personifies wisdom as a woman. The author advises Jews in Alexandria not to envy the wisdom of the pagan philosophers, because they themselves have true wisdom in their Sacred Scripture, a wisdom which regulates not only this life but the next also. Hence, they must live their lives in strict conformity with the Divine wisdom given them so generously by God.
In the second reading, Paul offers Christian wisdom, assuring those Christians who expected Jesus’ second coming in their life time that the death and Resurrection of Jesus is powerful enough to save even those who die before Jesus’ second coming. But they need to be alert, well-prepared and vigilant.
In the Gospel parable of the ten virgins, the foolish virgins represent the “Chosen People of God” who were waiting for the Messiah, but were shut out from the messianic banquet because they were unprepared. The parable teaches us that, like the five wise virgins, we should attend to duties of the present moment, preparing now, rather than waiting until it is too late.
1) We need to be wise enough to remain ever prepared: Wise Christians find Jesus in the most This ordinary experiences of daily living -- in the people they meet, the events that take place, and the situations in which they find themselves, and they carefully make their daily choices for God. They are ready to put the commandment of love into practice by showing kindness, mercy and forgiveness.
2) Let us be sure that our Lamps are ready for the end of our lives: Spiritual readiness, preparation and growth are the result of intentional habits built into one’s life. We cannot depend on a Sunday Mass or morning service to provide all our spiritual needs. We cannot depend on Christian fellowship to provide us with spiritual development. The meeting of spiritual needs and spiritual development itself come through routine, mundane attention to ordinary spiritual disciplines — making sure we have enough oil or spiritual fuel: oil of compassion and mercy, oil of patience and sympathy and forgiveness. We open ourselves to receive these graces by taking time for prayer, and being alone with God; by reading God’s Word; by living a sacramental life; by offering acts of service to others; by moral faithfulness, by loving obedience, and by spending time with other Christians for mutual prayer, study and encouragement, and when we receive them, we thank God for His generous love. As taking these ways becomes habitual, they cease to be a struggle and begin to be a source of strength and blessing. They make our lives powerful against the onslaught of the world.