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Scripture Reflections - Nov. 12
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time


Wisdom 6:12-16
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13


Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

If God were to give you one wish, what would you ask for?  Many of us would ask for riches, while other would ask for health, or long life.

In today’s first reading,  we are told that wisdom is the most precious gift God could give us.  

Because it will fill our lives with light and radiance to see the best possible route that leads to happiness,  Wisdom will prevent us from making foolish and harmful decisions on our journey.  Wisdom will give us also  God’s special love and protection.   

In  the reading, wisdom is pictured as a woman who will seek us out herself to give us her special gifts.  To seek and find wisdom is far better than to win the jackpot !

St. Paul, in the second reading from Thessalonians,  urges the new Christians (who thought that  the Second Coming of Jesus would come immediately,) to be patient, and continue to grow in virtue and in all the teaching of the Gospel  while they wait.   “Console one another with these words”, he concludes.

The whole Gospel advice of Jesus can be summed up in the phrase, “Be alert!” 

He uses a parable about ten virgins who await the bridegroom.  Apparently, the bridegroom is running late.   The virgins all carry lamps with which to conduct the bridegroom into the wedding hall.

Five of the virgins foolishly have not enough oil for their lamps.  When they rush to the merchants to buy more oil, they miss the bridegroom’s return, and are locked out.

In the parable, the oil represents the virtue that the other virgins have jealously guarded.  The oil also represents a life of wisdom.

Jesus gives special urgency, for He and his followers are on their way to Jerusalem where Jesus will be crucified.  It certainly is of great importance for us who, like the ten virgins, can grow lax and careless as we await the final judgment.  If we have foolishly failed to seek out wisdom and virtue, we may be shut out of the kingdom at the final judgment.     

Today, we need also to pray for wisdom for our leaders who should all work for the common good of our nation. We need to pray for our legislators who should be working for the common good of all  

Above all, we need wisdom to bring faith into focus among educators responsible for training our youth in the importance of God in their lives. 

We need to be alert for the judgment that awaits all people of the earth when the Bridegroom comes.

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