Dear friends in Christ, the year of the Church is gradually coming to an end. This also reminds us that every thing in this world including our life has an end. The readings of today emphasizes on the need on our part to be ever ready and ever vigilant to receive our saviour when he comes. This entails keeping the faith in order to merit the crown of righteousness which the just judge will award(2Tim. 4:6) The first reading taken from the book of Wisdom tells us that Wisdom reveals herself to those who love her and seek her. It goes on to expose the nature of Wisdom: its radiance and unfading nature.
These two qualities of Wisdom gives us a clue on the nature of Christ who is the the radiant Sun of resurrection and immortality. The reading makes it clear that it is easier for early risers to meet her. This means that it more safe to start on time to cultivate good habits and build virtues instead of waiting for the twilight. The responsorial Psalm paints the picture of a soul thirsting for the Lord. Thirst reminds us of the deep yearning and restlessness that go with lack of water.
Water is life. And Our Lord Jesus Christ calls himself the water of life( Jn.4:11 -15). The same psalm gives us a clue on how to assuage this thirst: by going to the sanctuary to draw strength and feel his glory. Being in his presence. Musing on him all through the night. This is one of the characteristics of someone in love. One who who is in love thinks about the lover even in the middle of the night. If we love Christ, we long to be with him through visiting the blessed sacrament and also meditating on the scriptures. The second reading from the first letter to the Thessalonians 4: 13 -18 gives an assurance that Christ will surely come to meet with his people.
Physical death is not and will never be a barrier for those who keep their watching lamps burning. The Gospel reading taken from the gospel of Matthew 25:1-13 shows Jesus giving us a parable of the 10 virgins. In this parable Jesus shows us the need for endless vigilance. The foolish virgins did not prepare adequately. They took many things for granted by not making provision for extra oil. The wise virgins however made the necessary preparations.
That oil connotes virtues, prayer, and sacrifices. They were ever ready. Lack of oil on the other hand connotes emptiness, darkness and procrastination. The bride groom took them unawares. He came when they didnt expect but the wise virgins were able to keep their lamps burning brightly. They were ready. Whereas the foolish virgins were taken u awares. The sleep may symbolize death…all of them fell into slumber but the wise virgins were able to survive because of the extra oil they stored for themselves. The oil may be virtues cultivated when they were alive during the day.
Or virtues cultivated during the younger years. Lack of oil for lamps may be bad habits or lack of virtues. LESSONS 1.We are expected to rise early to seek Christ. Procrastination is dangerous. The earlier we start, the better and safer for us. Certain bad habits are more difficult to stop as we grow older. The virtues we cultivate are like treasures stores in a safe place. 2. We are encouraged by the Psalmist to thirst for God. Do you thirst for God. What do you thirst for? Do you like being in his presence? Do you muse about him through the night? 3. The second reading encourages us and gives us hope. Death is not an annihilation. Whether we are alive or death doesnt matter what matters is being in union with God whether we are alive or dead(Rom. 14vs8). 4. There is need for us to be prepared always. By going for the sacrament of reconciliation regularly. 5. We should be careful not to be living in crowd mentality. The person you think you are moving with may have bought his or her oil without your knowledge. We should be careful of the “ everybody does it” syndrome. May the Lord bless His Word in our heart through Christ Our Lord. Amen