Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)
Nov 12, 2023
Readings: Book of Wisdom 6:12 – 16; 1 Thess 4: 13 – 14; Matthew 25: 1 – 13
A story is told of a man who was chased by a wild animal. He fell into a deep well.
Luckily for him there were strong plants growing on the side of the well. He caught hold
of one of them. While he was in this position, he looked down and saw that the well was
very deep. If he fell, sure death! He looked up. The wild animal was there at the top,
ready to pounce on him.
To make matters worse he noticed that some rats were gnawing at the root of the plant.
They might eat the roots and the plant might snap off at any time. But the man seemed
all at once to be unmindful of the danger. He had seen some drops of honey on the
leaves of the plant and began to enjoy them.
If we do not wait patiently in expectation for Christ’s coming in glory, we will start
wandering around, going from one little sensation to another. Our lives are bound to be
stuffed with a lot of internet rubbish, with newspaper items, television stories, e-mail
nonsense and cell chats,…. The our minds lose the discipline to discern between what
leads us closer to god and what doesn’t; and our hearts gradually lose their sensitivity.
If we do not wait eagerly for the second coming of Christ, we will stagnate and become
tempted to indulge in whatever gives us a moment of pleasure. St. Paul, asking us to
wake up from our sleep, says: “Besides this, you know what hour it is, how it is full time
now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first
believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in
revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and
jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to gratify
its desires” (Rom 13: 11 – 14).
Foresight looks ahead, and if we do look ahead, we will find ourselves behind. A
Christian who uses foresight avoids evil by anticipating it, and makes his roof before it
rains. We need this foresight in order to always be ready to meet the Lord when He
comes. While His final cal at death seems crucial, we must also be ready for His daily
calls. A Christian who uses foresight will be reflective. Being reflective means being
prayerful, without allowing oneself to be burnt out by the frantic pursuit of earthly
A reflective Christian always keeps asking, “Do I have the extra oil of good works to
nourish my lamp of faith?” The five wise virgins in the Gospel thought and reflected
before they left and took an extra flask of oil. Those few minutes of prudent reflection
paid off, for the bridegroom arrived late and they still had enough oil (Mt 25:4).
A person who is truly wise will always be prepared to meet the Lord, whatever be the
time of His coming. Is there anything more certain than death? How are we to
encounter death? Jesus compares our final meeting with Him to the joyful encounter of
the bride with the bridegroom at the wedding feast. Our daily/weekly encounter with
the Lord in the Eucharist is to be a preparation for the final encounter with the Lord.
Does our participation in the Eucharist instill in us great joy and hope?