Offers food for thought
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Readings: Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; First Thessalonians 4:13-17 or 4; Matthew 25:1-13
If we are to be prepared, we will need Wisdom which is a gift of the Holy Spirit and we will need the Cardinal Virtue of Prudence. Wisdom is a matter of putting first things first, and prudence, which is the practical side of wisdom, is about planning to pursue and attain the things that matter most (Wisdom 6:12-16), the things that last.
In the first reading wisdom is eager to bring her gifts to us and depends on, as the psalmist says, our souls thirsting for God which leads to our being eager to receive the gifts of wisdom. The five virgins who were prepared, exemplified this kind of eagerness that made them prepared for the bride grooms arrival.
Although, for many Christians it seems that setting up a career and making money are more important priorities than making the Gospel truths a force that guides life and transforms the heart and mind. The children of God can’t really deny, as much as we might like to, that the truly wise person is the one who doesn’t wait until “sometime in the future” to embrace the fullness of their salvation.
It’s easy to deceive ourselves on this point. We can convince ourselves that communion with God in time and eternity is our driving goal and focus in life, but upon careful reflection we might just realize that we’ve allowed other things to become priorities and overtake the place of God and the life of faith. We might realize that we are making an idol out of something – like money, pleasure, comfort, possessions, knowledge, fame, power, or popularity.
According to his own words, St. Jerome wasn't unfamiliar with lukewarm commitment to Christ. Although he became one of the most intelligent and well-educated men in the history of the Church, as well as becoming one of the greatest writers of all time, an accomplished Greek and Latin scholar, a secretary to Popes, the official translator of the Bible, and a valiant defender of the faith; he didn’t get to such heights of sanctity without his struggles. But as a young man, he had a dream that changed his life. In the dream, Christ asked him, “Jerome, what is your faith?” He answered, “I am a Christian”, and Christ unexpectedly said “You are not. You are a Ciceronian.” Later upon reflection, Jerome admitted, that he was so in love with his studies and with the intellectual life that he hadn’t completely given himself to Christ.
What would Christ say to you, in such a dream?
We don’t know when Christ will come again, but we do know that he will. Either Christ will come again, bringing an end to history, and establishing his Kingdom definitively before we die; Or before that, he will come to each of us at the moment of our death and bring us to his judgment seat individually. Death is no farther away than what you think will be your next breath.
So, we must heed him when he says, “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Peace doesn't just happen; it's made.
CampusPadre is a college ministry Priest Chaplain with 30 years experience in youth and young adult ministry, who strives to let the Holy Spirit lead and challenges students to seek holiness above all.