November 8, 2020 Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Welcome Father Mathew Today’s Readings: Wis 6:12-16 | 1 Thes 4:13-18 | Mt 25:1-13

###Be ready and prepared!

The image of a feast or banquet is used in scripture to describe both the kingdom and the generosity of God. The gospel today presents us with one such celebration; a wedding. Do you remember the last wedding to which you were invited? I do. It was my brothers only a few years ago. We knew it was coming but when my invitation arrived, then the preparations really began. As family and friends we were all included and involved in getting ready for the great day. We all had our part to play if the day was to be a happy and joyous occasion for everyone not just the bride and groom.

Jesus begins speaking today with a very familiar phrase, ‘the kingdom of God is like…’ He tells the parable of the guests who were invited to the wedding. Five were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones brought their lamps but no oil. The wise brought both lamps and enough oil. When the groom was delayed they all fell asleep. On his arrival, the foolish ones had neither light nor oil for their lamps and the wise, when asked refused to share their oil with them. The foolish ones went to buy oil but on their return the wedding had started and they were turned away! They missed the feast and the celebration because they were neither ready nor prepared. Jesus finishes by saying, ‘Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.’

There is an almost Advent message in this gospel! We are being reminded to stay awake and be ready at all times as we prepare to welcome Jesus when he returns. When this will happen we do not know. The call is to be like the wise guests who were ready and the danger is that we will be like the foolish ones who were unprepared. Sadly, they had become casual and complacent.

The first and early Christians initially believed and hoped that Jesus would return within their lifetime. However, as time moved on and this was not the case, this gospel was written both to encourage and remind the followers of Jesus not to lose hope, faith or patience. On the contrary they were to live their daily lives in such a way as to be always ready to welcome Jesus when he eventually returned.

This is the situation in which we find ourselves today. Christ came when he was born, which we celebrate during Advent and at the Nativity. But now, these days we are called to live and wait in joyful hope for coming of our Lord at the fullness of time. This takes patience and perseverance. We are in the words of Jesus to stay awake. How do we do this? We stay awake and prepare for Jesus by living our daily lives as best we can as his followers and disciples. It is through the quality of our ordinary lives that we prepare for the fullness of God’s Kingdom.

Through our baptism we have been given the light of light and faith. It is our responsibility to do all we can to keep it burning brightly each and every day. We have received the Light of Christ in baptism, now it is our task to nourish and nurture it until we meet the Lord.

Let us do all we can to stay awake and be prepared as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Source: Reflection by Br Michael Moore OMI, https://oblates.ie/pray-with-us/weekly-reflections/ Image: JESUS MAFA. The Ten Young Women, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48394 [retrieved November 7, 2020]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr

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