32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)


32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) Mt. 25:1-13– Nov. 12, 2017

Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day the Lord will come

I love to see the daily caricatures of the media, because a caricature is a fanny and sharp drawing of someone, or something that makes them silly or exaggerates their features. In this way, the caricaturist shows us in a simple drawing and in a few words the contemporary political situation. The normal caricature of today´s wedding would be that of the bride who is late and leaves everybody waiting for her at the church. But in the parable Jesus tells us in today´s Gospel it is the groom who is long delayed and the bride and bridesmaids are waiting for him. Jesus is the bridegroom.

The Kingdom of God is like ten young bridesmaids invited to a wedding banquet. They should bring lamps because the celebration is at night. The bridesmaids get together at the bride´s home, where the groom goes to join the bride to take her to his own home, where the banquet will take place. The ten virgins take with them torches to light the way for the newly weds. That reminds us our custom in today´s weddings where the father walks the bride down the aisle.

Among the ten girls, five are smart and well prepared, the other five are not; they are careless and easy-going. Maybe they worried too much about how to dress nicely. They bring lamps but no supply of oil. The smart five girls are well dressed, but also have enough oil.

They are all alert, and if we want a synonym, patient and vigilant for the broom to come. At that time it was the opposite of today, the broom was delayed. They all fell asleep. At midnight, because of the noise and the music somebody cries: “Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!

The point of the parable is not about weddings, it is about being ready. This parable concerns us all. At baptism we receive a lighted candle (through our godparents) and the celebrant says: “Receive the light of Christ. Walk always as a child of the light and keep the flame of faith alive in your heart. When the Lord comes for the eternal wedding, may you go out to meet him with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.” The lighted candle is also at a funeral.

In two weeks we will finish our Church year, and the Gospel today is about the end of the world, when Christ will come again in his glory. Every generation in history, since the Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, has waited for Jesus´ imminent return. Some religious groups had even set up exact dates for the end of the world. But as Jesus is clear in the Gospel, nobody knows the day or the hour. Let us prepare that day with joy, as we pray after the Our Father: “We wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.”

Most of us probably do not want to die soon, but we need to be very wise, and be ready for the Lord´s coming, not with fear and anxiety, rather look forward for that day in Christian joy. Let us have our lamps filled and burning when the Lord comes at the end of time by prayer, Holy Eucharist, and good actions.

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