Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

The Mass readings during this final month before Advent invite us to consider our preparedness for the coming of Jesus, either at the end of our lives or at the end of the world, whichever comes first. Today’s Gospel from Matthew 25: 1-13 is the Parable of the Ten Virgins. It addresses our need to be prepared. One way we do this is through the practice of the Daily Offering—beginning our day with a prayer in which we offer the day to God; trying to be mindful throughout the day of the offering we have made; then at the end of the day reviewing the day that we offered to God to see what was pleasing to him and what was not worthy of him. As we renew today’s offering, let us reflect on our Gospel with words from Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD, found in the revised edition of his book Divine Intimacy.

The bridegroom is Christ: he comes suddenly to call to his eternal banquet the faithful who are personified here by the ten virgins who are keeping vigil in expectation of being admitted to the wedding. As is often the case in the Old Testament, the relationship between God and man is presented in this parable as a nuptial one. By becoming man, the Son of God espoused human nature in the indissoluble union that made him the God-Man; then he consummated this marriage on the cross through which he redeemed us and bound us to himself by bringing us together in the Church, his mystical Bride….

Considered in this framework the life of a Christian can be looked upon as a pledge of marital fidelity to Christ, a delicate, attentive, and ardent fidelity that is inspired by a love that will admit no compromise. Life pass in such a way is a watchful waiting for the Bridegroom and is filled with good works which, according to the symbolism of the parable, are the oil that feeds the lamp of faith.

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