11 Nov 32 SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Nov 12th 32nd Sunday
Dear OLPH Family and Friends,
Today’s parable of the bridesmaids describes a situation that was commonplace in Jesus’ time. It describes an ancient wedding celebration. These celebrations went on for days and involved the whole village. A high point came when the groom arrived at the house of the bride to claim her as his wife. He was greeted by a group of bridesmaids. Ancient literature says that sometimes the groom purposely delayed his coming to the bride’s house until late at night. It would be a practical joke to catch the bridesmaids off guard.
Jesus used this familiar image to teach the people about His final coming. It will catch some people off guard, just as the bridegroom caught some of the bridesmaids off guard. What constitutes “being prepared?” What does the oil in the bridesmaids’ lamps stand for? In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus compares the good deeds people do to oil burning brightly in a lamp. Jesus says “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Mt 5:16) The oil stands for good deeds.
How does today’s parable apply to our lives right now in a practical way? When will we learn not to put off until tomorrow what we need to do today? Jesus is warning us that there are certain things in life that we must do now. There are certain things in life that we can’t put off to the last minute, as the bridesmaids put off buying oil to the last minute. It’s the message that if we don’t stop putting things off, Jesus could one day say to us what the bridegroom said to the foolish bridesmaids: “I do not know you.”
If you have a 401(k) retirement plan, you’re like one of the five wise virgins who planned ahead and brought extra oil. You’re like the l
oving mother who says” “Better bring a jacket, just in case.” Like a good Boy Scout, you are always prepared. Unfortunately, many of us identify with the other half of the groom’s welcoming party. We are unprepared. We frequently find ourselves a day late and a dollar short. At a time when all of us least expect it, our death will come. Today’s Gospel is a friendly reminder from Jesus that we still have time to prepare ourselves for the most important event we will ever face, from this life to life eternal. Jesus came into our lives so that we can be with Him forever.
Lord, help us stop putting things off. Help us realize that certain things in life can’t be borrowed or bought at the last minute. Help us realize that this is our time. This is our day, and it is passing faster than we can imagine. AMEN!
May God bless, preserve and keep us!