32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
November 6, 2011
My first viewing of a picture of the 10 virgins that are part of a local wedding that Jesus uses to give us some thought about the end of the year ... the Church year, that is. During the final week of December we begin to hear comments about "resolutions" for the new year. Well, this particular reading from Matthew's gospel serves us well as a reminder: don't get left out! don't let the doors close before you get into the celebration.
We are approaching the closing of the current Church year on Saturday morning, December 1, 2011. Beginning with the Vigil on December 1st we begin with the Mass for the First Sunday of Advent for the year 2012.
In the gospel story the 10 virgins represent all of us ... they are a symbol of all the people in the Church. Jesus is using the metaphor of the wedding to teach his disciples and others that there will be a time when our lives come to an end. Like the virgins in the story, we are called upon to be ready for the day that Jesus comes to us, when God calls us from this world, from the mission he entrusted to us when he sent us into this world. Jesus does not waver in any way when he makes answer to those who did not get into the wedding feast because they had gone to fetch some oil for their lamps. Clearly the ladies should have filled their candles with the fuel long before the bridegroom arrived. Obviously they were distracted by somethings we don't know about. Nonetheless, they were not prepared.
So, the story could be used to help us take some time to think about our own lives: do we have oil to burn our candles when God calls us to answer the basic question: how have you lived your life? Another way, How have you lived your life of faith? Have we taken the time to make sure that our candles are filled with oil?