THIRTY SECOND SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A.
12th November 2023
Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13.
The emphasis of today’s gospel is on the personal encounter with Jesus that sustains our faith. Ten virgins were invited to a wedding feast. Five of them were wise and the remaining five were foolish. The bridegroom delayed in coming and the wise virgins made it to the wedding feast because they had extra oils for their lamps. We can establish that the extra oils of the wise virgins gained them entrance to the wedding feast. What is this extra oil?
From the gospel passage we gathered that the wise virgins were unable to share their extra oils with the foolish virgins because it is something that cannot be shared. Anything that cannot be shared is termed personal. What is this personal extra oil that cannot be shared? The response to the psalm gives us the clue: For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God! A thirsty soul cannot be shared. A thirsty soul includes love, affection, devotion and reverence. A thirsty soul resulting from a personal encounter with Jesus cannot be shared. This is the wisdom of the wise virgins!
This wisdom is not far-fetched. The first reading from the book of Wisdom confirmed this: By those who love her she is readily seen, and found by those who look for her. The extra oil of a thirsty soul will sustain our faith in trying moments. According to St. Paul in the second reading, it will make us not to grieve like people who have no hope. The bridegroom’s arrival was delayed and the personal love of the wise virgins motivated them to bring along extra oils. Every day is an opportunity to encounter Jesus personally.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.