Saint for the day: Josaphat (c. 1580 – November 12, 1623)
Scripture readings for today’s Litugy:
Wisdom 6:12-16 – Psalm 63 – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 – Matthew 25:1-13
As we get closer and closer to the end of the Liturgical Year our scripture readings focus more and more on that great time of “Parousia,” the Second Coming of Christ. So the Church gives us this Gospel with the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. At fist glance most of us say, “why didn’t the ‘wise virgins’ follow Jesus oft repeated admonition, “give to those who ask” or “share your bread (oil) with those who don’t have enough?”
This parable is about faith and the oil is a reference to having wisdom. As we hear in the first reading, “wisdom” is not the same as knowledge or learning. Wisdom is a gift of God and we must put ourselves in that place where God’s Wisdom will be poured out. Unlike knowledge which I can impart to another through rote learning, wisdom must come from outside. Wisdom is a virtue and gift. I love the notion that “wisdom” waits in the early hours of the morning darkness since this is obviously a favorite time for me. And I have to admit: as I write these little reflections I often ask myself, “where did that thought come from?” I’m amazed that I can see so much more clearly in the quiet, dark hours before the dawn of a new day. I am also reminded to base all of my efforts on those “Four pillars of our Dominican tradition:” and keeping them in their proper order: PRAYER first, supported by STUDY which is encouraged by COMMUNITY, giving us something to go out with in our MINISTRY.
One priest that I lived with in Africa was always harping on his tired out saying, “It’s not working…” Well, I say, “MAKE it work! We can’t be like those foolish virgins and just have someone else take care of us and make us acceptable in the sight of God. WE have to take responsibility to do everything necessary so that we are ever ready – like cold, boiled, ham for whatever the Lord asks us to do. Remember, God doesn’t call us to success but to faithfulness! Amen!