“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In the movie “Lady Bird,” the young title character has a conversation with a Catholic sister who works at Lady Bird’s Catholic High School in Sacramento, CA. Sister Sarah Joan praises Lady Bird’s writing about her home city, which she says “comes across as love.” This surprises the student, because she can’t wait to get out of Sacramento for college. “I guess I pay attention,” Lady Bird says. Sister Sarah Joan replies, “Don’t you think maybe they are the same thing? Love and attention?”
Love and attention might not be perfect synonyms, but today’s Gospel passage is all about showing love for God by being ready, paying attention, and noticing his work in our midst. Jesus calls on his followers to stay awake, because we don’t know when he will return in glory. This has to do with the Second Coming, certainly, but the passage also invites us to pay attention to the small, less-dramatic ways God is at work in our lives. In other words, as the Jesuits like to say, we should be seeking to find God in all things.
Lord Jesus Christ, true light of the world, You guide all mankind to salvation. Give us the courage, strength and grace to build a world of justice and peace, ready for the coming of that kingdom where you live with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
—Excerpt from the Liturgy of the HoursPlease share the Good Word with your friends!