Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Scripture Reading:Matthew 25:1-13
The parable of the bridesmaid follows Jesus’ warnings about the end when many will fall away from the faith. The teaching on the wise and foolish maids builds on the previous teaching of the wise and foolish servants. Both parables illustrate the need to live in a manner that expects the return of the Lord, even when the return is delayed (24:48; 25:5). Due to the delay of the groom and the late hour, all the bridesmaids had fallen asleep. The wise brought extra oil for their lamps. Both groups knew that the groom was coming and waited with their lamps burning, but only half considered that the wait in the darkness might be longer than anticipated. So they brought extra. When all the maids were awakened at the announcement of the groom’s arrival, they all set about trimming and preparing their lamps for the procession. To the horror of the foolish, though, they discovered that they would not have enough oil to keep their lamps burning. The wise maidens refused to lend their extra oil. Sometimes one can see this refusal as being ungenerous, we miss the point. The point is that in matters of salvation individual effort/preparation is needed.
We all need to prepare; though the group may help to prepare, nevertheless there is need for personal preparation. Without downplaying the communal dimension of our faith, we must acknowledge that we are not saved as a group. Each of us need to personally get his or her oil. Each person must endeavour to keep his or her lamp burning. Each of us must bear the light of Christ, being in the midst of light is not the goal, each of us must shine individually.
We can assist each other to ignite the light, but keeping the light burning is individual responsibility. In this parable, the bridegroom’s arrival was certain. The uncertainty of the timing illustrates the need for constant vigilance. To live in vigilance means for the disciples to do the tasks that they have been appointed to do in preparation for the Master’s coming. This parable therefore means that all believers must constantly look to their own spiritual condition in the light of the coming of Christ at an unknown and unexpected time.
We are called to persevere in faith so that when the day or hour comes, we will be received by the Lord. Failure to do this means being cut away from His presence eternally.
MASS: GREEN Wis. 6:12-16;Ps 63:2.3-4.5-6.7-8(R.2b);1 Thess. 4:13-18; Accl.Matt 24:42a.44;Matt 25:1-13 THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY OF THE YEAR (A)
1. Father, do not let my mind and heart be drawn away from You. Holy Spirit, help me to be vigilant and persevere in faith at all times. Grant me the grace to be sensitive of the wiles of Satan. Lord, help me to be constant in prayer and relentless in charity in Jesus name –Amen
Exercise: Be wise enough to always go about with your extra oil.
Meditation: 1 Peter 5:8-9