THIRTY SECOND SUNDAY IN THE ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A.
Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13.
November 12, 2017
The reality before us today is to ascertain the advantage of being a Christian in the contemporary world. Our world has been continuously described as a secular one mainly due to the decline of the Christian faith. Realities in the past that enjoyed theological explications are today effectively and coherently described by science. St. Paul in the second reading brings to our notice of the lack of advantage between the dead and the living with regards to the second coming of Jesus Christ. The five virgins’ enrolment for the wedding feast did not guaranteed their places when the wedding hall doors were closed. That the sun will shine on both good and bad, further highlights the importance of this question. The Christian life is a way and not the way?
The first reading from the book of wisdom gives us a clue to the question when it presents wisdom as a reality that is available to all. The wisdom presented is quick to anticipate those who desire her, she makes herself known to them. The equal opportunity to love is the distinguishing factor. Love motivates the entire Christian life. Love one another as I have loved you. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another – John 13: 34-35. Through love true wisdom is revealed to us. The wisdom of God is revealed on the cross. Thus if we be on the alert for her and anxiety will quickly leave you. The inequalities and the uncertainties of life is revealed and solved on the cross of Christ. We only have to gaze on it in order to find the wisdom of life.
The ten virgins were chosen to be with the Groom and his Bride. It is a rare privilege to be chosen. Oftentimes we get distracted from our vocation to love. The vocation we have today is God’s call on us. We have to discharge our duties with love. Once love exists in us, we stand no chance to lose focus. The foolish virgins lost sight of love and thus could not effectively discharge their duties. The responsibility to love is an alertness that begets love. The wise virgins saw to avoid any eventualities by bringing along with them extra oils for their lamps.
The alertness that love heralds is an antidote to anxiety. The wise virgins were true to the responsibility to love through their duties as wedding attendants. They did not forget the extra oil in case the Groom and the bride delay in arriving. Our reality as Christians is challenged in a secular world. But the responsibility to love is an advantage.
Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.