Seek, And Wait Wisely For The Lord
Readings: Readings: 1st: Wis 6, 12-16; Ps 62, 2-8; 2nd: 1 Thes 1, 13-18; Gos: Mt 25, 1-13
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today, the thirty second Sundays of ordinary time, year A, the church encourages us to seek the Lord and always be ready to welcome him. God Himself is Wisdom. He who finds and receives Him, will have the fullness of life in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we must ask God to grant us a share in His wisdom in order to know what to do at all time.
In the first reading of this Sunday, we are reminded that “wisdom is found by only those who look for her.” Here Wisdom is personified as a woman. Hence, it only takes a “wise man” to go out in search of her. The wise man does this with patience and hope, and so, never gives up until he has found Wisdom. With Wisdom, we are better Christians and more equipped to face the challenges of this life.
Unfortunately, we neglect the fact that God granted us wisdom in order to know how seek and worship Him. Without wisdom, our spirituality remains shallow and un-balanced. Without wisdom, our religious life would be mere fanaticism. Without wisdom, we are losers in every aspect of life. With wisdom, we seek, find and worship God who Himself is Wisdom. To find Wisdom is to find God.
In the second reading, Paul encourages the Thessalonians, as well as us, not to bother or grief too much about those who have died before the second coming of Christ. That is, before the Parousia. “…Do not grief about them like other people who have no hope…God will bring them with him…”
This is based on the hope we have in the resurrection of the dead. So, instead of worrying so much about them, the wise thing to do is to worry about ourselves. What should bother us should be how prepared are we to receive the Lord. It is important to note that there is no specified time for the second coming of Christ. Paul only tells us that: “We shall see him when he appears in the sky.” This means we are to be prepared at all times.
Once, I heard someone say to another, “I hope your promise will not be like that of Jesus’ Parousia?” They laughed over it. This is because, for them Christ’s promise is now empty. They have waited too long. Christ has also delayed too long. So, there is no need of trusting him anymore. However, only the wise, waits patiently. Whether we are dead or alive, Christ’s promise will be fulfilled. He will surely come!
In the gospel of this Sunday Jesus used the parable of the ten virgins to teach us how we must be prepared and vigilant for the Parousia. Five of the virgins waiting for the bridal train were wise, while five were foolish. What separates these two categories of waiters is that same thin line that separates wisdom and foolishness, heaven and hell, or good and evil.
It is the duty of the servant to wait patiently for his master’s to return. Therefore, the moment of waiting should not be a weary moment for us. Rather, it should be a moment of grace to be well prepared. We must not become victims of the eleventh hour.
Why were the other virgins not charitable? The answer is simple. That would have been the most stupid thing to do at that moment. This is because, half way into the party, all the oil will finish and everyone will be in darkness. Second, there is no excuse for the foolish virgins not to have sufficient oil in their lamps because they had the time to prepare.
Jesus is on the way! His “delay”, should not be an excuse for us not to be ready. Rather, it should be an opportunity to be prepared and wait for him. So, our song every moment and time must be: “For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord, my God. My body pines for you like a dry weary land without water!”
Peace be with you all!