Alert and ready to welcome the bridegroom
Thirty-Second Sunday of Year A (Matt 25:1-13)
November 12, 2017
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
BOTH the Jewish religion and Christianity are characterized by their orientation toward the future and the expectation for the arrival of “someone” really important who will fulfill their highest hopes. For centuries, the Jews were (and most of them still are) awaiting the Messiah, the great “liberator.” But when he finally came, few were ready to welcome him. The majority behaved like the unwise bridesmaids of today’s Gospel parable . . .
We Christians know that the Messiah has come and believe that he is Jesus of Nazareth. We love him as our Savior, but we also believe that he will come again to fulfill all our hopes in the eternal happiness of heaven he has prepared for us. Hence, we cannot afford to while away our lifetime like those who have no hope and no faith. We just cannot behave like those who get drowned in their daily activities, as if work, profit, and pleasure were the most important things in life . . . . We Christians should characterize ourselves as “expectant people” – people who have something very important to look forward to: our final encounter with Jesus Christ, the Judge of all. He made the very important promise that he will come back to take us with him, that where he is we also may be” (see Jn 14:3).
He also warned his disciples and us that he will come at a time we least expect. (See Mt 24:43 and 25:13.) Hence, we have to be watchful, not in creepling fear but in joyful and fruitful expectation.
We have to wait for him with lamps filled with the oil of faith and good deeds.
These are two conditions that we all should treasure. Our waiting for the Lord has got to be eager, wise, fully alert and ready to welcome him . . . . The more he seems to delay his coming, the more we should strive to be worthy of him, by behaving as “children of light,” i.e.: doing as much good as we can.
If such is our disposition, we will not mind waiting, just as we will not mind leaving everything aside to go with him when he comes. Both “waiting for” and “going with” are two necessary stages which prepare us for the final one: being with Jesus forever in the eternal wedding banquet of heaven.