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It Is Wise To Be Prepared

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A (12/11/2023)

(Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-13)

Fr. Samuel Odeh

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31)

Wisdom in general is defined as the product of knowledge and experience.  The wisdom of God is revealed to us in the Holy Books and through the person and teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Today’s readings are about the importance of the wisdom of God as the perfect guide to a fulfilled and happy life for a believer and the immediacy of our need to respond to its urgent demands in time.  In our first reading from Wisdom, the wisdom of God is precious and to be highly sought after, but more importantly, God promises that none who search for wisdom will be disappointed.  In the responsorial psalm, the hunger for wisdom is portrayed as a yearning and craving for the person of God himself.  In the second reading from Thessalonians, the hope of sharing in the resurrection from the dead with Jesus Christ for all those who lead their lives according to his pattern of unselfish and loving sacrifice is wisdom itself.  In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus in a parable presents us with five wise virgins or maidens at a wedding who prepared well for the unexpected, unplanned, and uncertain time of arrival of the bridegroom by carrying extra oil for their lamps.  The foolish maidens in contrast did not prepare in time, only went for lamp oil at the last minute, and missed the opportunity of welcoming the bridegroom.  Jesus sums up the moral of the parable: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour” (Matthew 25:13).

The revealed wisdom of God has made the world a better place than it would have been without it.  For instance, through it, we have learnt that love is better than hate, sharing is better than selfishness and that a just and peaceful coexistence between peoples is better than violence, war, and destruction.  It is a life lived according to the wisdom of God alone that can guarantee a fulfilled life, both in the short term and in the long term.  All that remains, therefore, is a complete and lasting commitment to the vision and plan of God’s wisdom for us.  Unfortunately, this is where most of us falter.  Do I cherish God’s plans and his wisdom as a guide for my life or do I prefer others?  Am I delaying my preparations for the day when I expect to meet with Jesus, the Bridegroom?  Let us pray that the Lord himself will come to our rescue to provide us with the freedom, the dispositions, and the temperaments to stand ready and awake to do his will at all times and to lead our lives according to his wisdom.

Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)

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