As the end of the liturgical calendar is closer, our readings remind us not to be only physically and emotionally be ready, but to be spiritually prepared for, we do not know what will happen and when the Lord is coming.
In The gospel today Mt. 25; 1-13 Jesus begins speaking 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 not permitted to enter! They missed the feast and the celebration because they were neither ready nor prepared. Then, Jesus finished the parable by saying, “Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” 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. The invitation never ends to be ready, but willing to share our oil to those people living in darkness in this moment of crisis. This gospel was written both to encourage and remind us not to lose hope, faith and patience in waiting.
I know the feeling of waiting, for the time of releasing the visa and the day of my flight which was cancelled twice. I thought I was prepared and ready, and yet I realized in the middle of uncertainties,’ I wasn’t. It reminds me of the phrase of our father founder Bl. Francisco Palau that says “God is certainly to be trusted, but he leaves us to rules of human prudence.” (Lt 63;3) In some moment I became impatient, but I recognized waiting is not just a waste of time, but to discover that behind every waiting is a great virtue and grace that will help us to understand why we need to wait and not to lose hope.
The first reading (Wisdom 6:12-16) tells us to have the resplendent and unfading wisdom is readily perceived and found by those who seek her. The gift of wisdom of God is always available, to show us what we must do to keep a good supply of oil to acknowledge our need and dependence upon God so that we may be able to shed the light of our faith on the world.
These days, particularly in this time of pandemic we are called to live and wait in joyful hope for coming of our Lord in the fullness of time. This takes patience and perseverance. How do we do this? 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, saving and having a good supply of oil to meet our groom for the fullness of God’s Kingdom. Through our baptism we have been given the 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.
Maricris G. Malabana, CMT
Reina del Carmelo Community