This Sunday’s reflection is drawn from a historical homily from the late +Bishop Brian Leo Hennessey, CR, published in the booklet entitled “We are called. We are chosen.”
“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day, not the hour.” (Mt 25: 13)
We are drawing near to the end of Matthew’s gospel in which he relates Jesus’ final two parables: the Wise and Foolish Virgins and the parable of the Talents. Both drive home the same theme: that sometime, we know not when, we, too, shall be asked to give an accounting of the graces and blessings we have been given.
This is not a morbid thought, nor should it be. That is not a day we should fear. It is a reminder that we are an Easter people, firmly believing in a new and better life. We will rise again; meanwhile, we should live like people who do believe in the Resurrection, growing ever closer to our Lord, knowing our God, having sufficient oil for our lamps so that when he does come we will be prepared. Today’s themes – suddenness and preparedness – are fitting themes for the church to ask us to reflect on at the end of the liturgical year. We are invited to ask ourselves this question: Is my life situation more like the foolish bridesmaids who were unprepared or the wise ones who were?
All of us have gone through the experience of preparing for something, be it an event like a wedding, or some other gala, social event, or even a simple visit from family or friends. Each demands its own particular preparations. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus laid out the ways by which we could prepare. Have I listened to his words? Am I living my life in a way that will allow me to hear him say “Enter the kingdom prepared for you.”?