• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Saturday, 11 November 2017 16:23

32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2017

Written by Fr Prakash Menezes

 

Thirty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year A

Readings: Wisdom 6:12-16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13

So Stay Awake

Fr Prakash Menezes SVD 150As we draw closer to the end of the Liturgical Year the readings of the day invite us to be awake and alert for the coming of the end times. We are called to be ready to enter into God’s reign - or in today’s Gospel, into the banquet hall – by preparing ourselves well in advance. What does it mean by being prepared? What does it mean by entering into God’s reign? What does it mean by end times? The end of the world or the end of ourselves? These are the nagging questions that we will look into as part of our reflection today.

We all are aware that the early Christians believed that Jesus will return soon and quite many of them had the idea that it will happen in their lifetime itself. But as the Gospels were being written down, which is almost thirty or forty years after the resurrection of Jesus, nothing seems to have happened and no sign of Jesus’ return was visible. So the believers began to look into the coming of the Lord in a different sense, that is, it is us going to meet the Lord and not just waiting for the Lord to come. Now that gives a whole different meaning to todays’ parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids.

The parable narrates that the bridesmaids had to wait for the coming of the bridegroom, who took unusually long time (Nothing new in today’s marriage ceremony, where even the bride takes her own time too anyway!). That speaks of the uncertainty of the Lord’s coming. In the meantime, the bridesmaids fell asleep, which symbolises the lethargy we may go through waiting for the Lord. Interestingly enough, the five of the bridesmaids had prepared themselves to receive the bridegroom with enough oil for their lamps, whereas the other five had not (looks like they were taking things as they came!). Don’t we do something similar, wait till last minute?
The parable invites us, to be prepared, to be awake, to be aware of the signs of times and act accordingly.

So how can I be prepared? The preparedness comes from our everyday lives. By being open to the needs of the day, we are prepared to face the day. By listening to our inner voice and acting accordingly, we are prepared for the day. By opening our hearts and minds to the needs of the other, we are prepared for the day. By reaching out to others in their desperation, we are prepared for the day. And all these things, which prepare us, are not something we can share with others. The goodness that we acquire can’t be debited, instead it makes us a good human being and encourages us to do more and be prepared. The first reading of the day sheds a bit of light into it as we are invited to make wisdom as our companion, “Watch for her early and you will have no trouble” (Wis 6:14).

This preparedness is ongoing and either the end of times or our own end will not surprise us, instead keeps us ready to face it. It is like being prepared for the surprise tests in a class room. If I’ve done my homework properly and have kept my notebooks up to date, then I don’t have to be surprised by the surprise test. Only if I’ve not kept up to date, then I’m in for real surprise!

Therefore let us make an effort to be prepared and awake in our lifetime. Let us not wait till the last minute to make things better. It’s doing little things and making little changes and improvements every day that matters and we will be able to look right into the reign of God when that day arrives. May this be our effort this week and the weeks ahead. Amen.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 11 November 2017 16:28