November 12, 2017

A HOMILY FOR THE THIRTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME –  CYCLE “A” –  11/12/17  – SMG

+ Pax et Bonum!   Peace and goodness to you this day!

There are thousands of things that the foolish virgins could have missed out on, because they didn’t have enough oil for their lamps, and thus they were unprepared for their roles as bridesmaids.  Not having enough oil, meant inevitably, that at some point, the foolish virgins were going to have to leave the celebration and go buy more.  The only real question was when was it going to happen, and what were they going to miss , when they have to make that run down to the local Walmart?  Would they not be there when the Bride’s mother brought them all a snack?  Would they not be there when they took all the pictures and made the video diary for the bride?  Would they not be there when the father of the bride stopped by to thank them all?  Would they not be there when the best man showed up with all his friends, looking for nice Jewish girls to meet?  They could have missed out on many things.  But according to Jesus in the parable, the foolish bridesmaids really missed out because they were not ready to go out and greet the groom.  Remember, bridesmaids back then had one primary task, and it wasn’t to wear an ugly dress that they would never wear again.  Back then, bridesmaids had this important job of leading the groom into the wedding feast.  It was their primary task.  It was their biggest job.  So when these foolish virgins have to go out and buy some more oil, they don’t just miss some small part of the wedding celebration.  They miss their main responsibility!  They miss out on their whole purpose.  Is it any wonder that later on, the foolish virgins are not allowed into the wedding celebration?  They have failed the bride and groom.   They have failed at the job that they had agreed to do.  And they have failed, because they weren’t ready, they weren’t prepared.

This Gospel has an amazing way of reminding us that there are many ways that we can be unprepared.  We can NOT have enough pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.  We can run out of cresent rolls at dinner.  We can NOT have the right batteries for the right toy on Christmas morning.  We can buy someone the wrong size shirt or blouse.  We can forget that that is the exact same gift that we got for that person last year.  We can make all kinds of different mistakes and blunders.  But the one thing that none of us can do?  We cannot NOT be prepared, on the day of the Lord’s return!  It is what this life is all about!  It is to that exact moment that every moment of our lives is directed.  We do not know the day or the hour, and that’s why as Jesus’ followers, we must be always ready and waiting for His return.  And nobody should be surprised either!  As followers of Jesus Christ, especially as Catholic Christians, we have heard about this our entire lives.  Jesus is coming back.  Jesus is coming back.  Yes, some day, some day soon, it is going to happen!  And you and me, we must be ready for it!  We must always be living ready for it!

I think, people mistakenly believe that we’re going to have Confessions on that day.  Believe me, if you wait until Jesus breaks through the clouds and returns, to go to Confession, you’ve waited too long.  We need to be getting ready every day, by making things right with God, and by making things right with one another, and by living the Catholic Christian life.   We have a remarkable ability to talk a lot better about being Catholic Christians, than actually living out our Faith.  Talk is not going to matter when Jesus returns.  Good intentions are not going to matter when Jesus returns.  What is going to matter is what we did in our day to day actions and efforts, to really build the Kingdom of God!   What’d you do with your time?  What’d you do with your gifts, and talents, and abilities?  What’d you do with your resources?  A day of reckoning is coming for all of us.  It would be a terrible mistake for us to think that it is never going to happen, because it will.  And we must be preparing for the Lord’s return every day.

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In the parable, the foolish virgins didn’t think ahead to realize that they were going to need more oil.  Perhaps as we look ahead to the Lord’s return and to our judgement, what we know that we’re going to need is more faith and more love.  Faith connects us to God and gives us the perspective that we need to live rightly in this world.  With real faith, we don’t fear the Lord’s return, but look forward to it!  And with more love, well that love for God and the love that we have for our brothers and sisters, is the way that we are supposed to be living this life!  Wouldn’t it be great, that when Jesus returned, He would find us doing both!  Loving God AND loving our brothers and sisters!  There is nothing that please God more than when we imitate His own love and concern!

So let us be wise, my brothers and sisters!  The foolish virgins messed up.  We are to be using this time now wisely!  We should be living this life every day, like we were being judged for all eternity.  What we are doing matters!  Let us choose wisely all that God demands.  And let us live our Faith and Love, like our tomorrow depended upon it!

+  May God bless us in all our decisions,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…                 AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti…         Pray for us !!!