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 Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: 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 to know what to do at all times.
Today’s first reading reminds us 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 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 to know how to seek and worship Him. Without wisdom, our spirituality remains shallow and unbalanced; 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 today’s second reading, Paul encourages 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 advice 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 worry about ourselves. What should bother us should be how prepared we are 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. The reason is that for them, Christ’s promise is now empty. They have waited too long. Christ has also delayed too long. So, there is no need to trust him anymore. However, only the wise wait 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 the same thin line separates wisdom and foolishness, heaven and hell, or good and evil.
The servant has to wait patiently for his master’s to return. Therefore, the moment of waiting should not be a weary moment for us. Instead, 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, halfway 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. Instead, 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!