Again Fr Seamus asked me to take the 6 AM Mass so here is a brief homily put together
for the Sunday:
+WE DO NOT KNOW THE DAY NOR THE HOUR 32nd Sunday (A) 2017
Our first reading from the book of Wisdom and then our Gospel this morning, remind us of the importance of being watchful in our daily lives. We do not know when God will come to each of us at an important moment of decision and only if we are watchful will we do what will bear fruit for eternal life.
Jesus loves to tell stories and that which we just heard of the ten virgins is a vivid way of bringing home to us what will benefit us not only for this world but above all for the life we are to enjoy eternally. What the early Fathers of the Church liked to say about his parable is how crucial it is for all of us to take oil with our lamps. This oil represents good deeds, doing for others what we would have them do for us. We all have many occasions to do this and it is all about whether we are self-centered or other-centered, whether we see our relationships important for our continual growth in the Spirit.
This does not mean we don’t care about ourselves and the real needs we may have but we do not become so occupied with these to where we ignour the needs of those dependent on us or may come unexpectedly into our lives. Having oil in our lamps when the Bridegroom comes is letting the grace of our Baptism show in the way we live, letting the Eucharist we celebrate around this altar become a life giving force in all that we do. Just as Jesus’ whole life was about bringing good news to all who were oppressed or abandoned, our lives can be no different if we are going to be his followers.
Isn’t this what it means to live by a Wisdom that “is readily perceived by those who love her.” “Taking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence” we are told and we all want to be prudent or discerning people. Our lives are most meaningful when we learn how to give them away. We are meant to love and to be loves for this is to live in the image and likeness of God. The opportunity is never very far away, we have only to recognize it and respond.
Gathering here is just such an effort and what is broken and given here is to be broken and given throughout our daily lives. The love that is shown us in Jesus is never very far from any of us. We have only to give it away to be ever blessed. Amen