Gospel Mt 25:1-13
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
'Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise ones replied,
'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.'
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!'
But he said in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Sunday, November 12, 2023
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
It's a name for a girl
It's also a thought that can change the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything
"You must feel the Force around you; between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship."
In today's Gospel, Jesus invites us to stay awake. "Stay awake for what?" we may ask. Certainly, we cannot ignore the early Christians' belief that the second coming of Jesus was imminent and that we all need to be prepared for the day of judgment. Surely, this is what the invitation to "stay awake" is referring to.
However, I think we can also respond to this Gospel by trying to be more aware of something that is always true, yet we tend to not notice it. I think that we can hear this Gospel as a calling to be aware of, or be present to, or attend to, or be "awake" (however you want to say it) to the grace of God.
Grace is something that is always the case, and so the Gospel invites us to pay attention to it. Remember, Jesus begins the parable with that familiar saying, "The kingdom of heaven is like..." which is code for, "Seeing the way God sees is like..." Being able to see the way God see's is being able to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate grace in our midst. The grace of God is everywhere, in everything at all times.
How do we know this? Well, our Tradition teaches that if something were not graced by God, it simply would not be. Nothing can fall out of God's grace and still exist. Therefore, all of Creation is a source of grace. The question for us is, "Are we awake to it?" Are we aware of the goodness in everything?
The wise person prepares herself for this kind of awareness by setting aside space and time to acknowledge and celebrate the grace that abounds. In this sense, our worship on Sunday can be understood as a making of time and space to acknowledge and celebrate the grace of God that is all around us!
What Bono from U2 knows is that we must be aware of the love of God and give it a name. Star Wars refers to it as "the Force." We call it "Grace," and it is everywhere! Are you prepared to see it?