Reflection: 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time,Cycle A
Wis. 6:12-16; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Mt. 25: 1-13.
We are now on the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time; two Sundays from now we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, the Lord as he comes at the end of time. Our second reading today explicitly speaks of the Second Coming of the Lord. St. Paul speaks of the “Lord himself …with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven.” We profess this faith every Sunday in the Creed: “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” Our Gospel reading speaks of the Groom coming to fetch his Bride, the Church. This Church is not a building but the whole community of the baptized and believers who have lived faithfully the Christian life. These are the wise virgins who have brought along oil with their lamps.
The wisdom first lies in the patience of waiting; when the Bridegroom delays in coming, it does not mean he is not coming at all. During the long wait, we are to remain vigilant, never forgetting the truths he left us to live by: the Ten Commandments and the moral laws, the Beatitudes, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, the command to ‘love one another as I have loved you’, and a life of prayer. These are the extra oil in reserve that we need to take along to keep our lamps burning. As is said in the Book of Revelation, we are invited to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. Let us be prepared to be allowed to enter the banquet hall. This wisdom is precisely to be exercised during the long wait for the Lord; our whole lifetime may be fifty or sixty, seventy or eighty or ninety years, we are to live our lives in expectation of his second coming. This wisdom is to remind us of how we are to behave as his servants, ready for any eventuality, patiently awaiting for his return. We are not to live an empty life forgetting that we are pilgrims journeying towards God. His moral laws and commandments are to regulate our ideas and thoughts, our choices, our behavior, and our decisions. We are to remain faithful to heaven, with the spirit of the Gospels. On the other hand, we must ask for this gift of wisdom, that the Lord send it to us from his throne in heaven to be our guide on earth. It is a gift of his Spirit and we need to desire it, long for it, pray for it. May the Lord grant all of us the wisdom to be ready to enter with him into the Wedding Feast in heaven. Amen.