Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Foolish and the Wise

Fri. 21st Week Year I
Gospel (Mt. 25,1-13)

Last night, after a great deal of meteorological fanfare, we just received a bit of a thunder storm.  I thought Irene had snubbed us and was heading toward Manhattan!  She may still end up there, but it turns out that our rain and wind was simply a preview of coming attractions.  We still have time to prepare!  In today’s Gospel parable of the 5 foolish and the 5 wise virgins all the bridesmaids fall asleep waiting for the delayed bridegroom.  Those who were wise could afford to take a nap, for they were well prepared.  Too bad the 5 foolish ones did not use the delay to get their oil.  St. Peter says that the Lord delays His coming because He is merciful and wants to give us more time.  But we have to realize that sooner or later our time is going to run out.  Why could not the foolish virgins borrow oil from the wise ones? We can see the oil as the symbol of love, that which lights and warms our lives for God and for others.  Each of us freely decides whether or not to love and no one can do it for us.  We can “fool” other people into doing our work for us or giving us their money, but we cannot make them love for us.  And it is the height of foolishness to think that we can fool God!  What a terrible thing it will be for some to hear those awful words from Him, “I do not know you”.  How can the all knowing God not know everyone?  Because He allows each person that freedom to consent to be in a knowing, loving relationship with Him or to reject such a relationship.  St. John of the Cross says that in the end, we will all be judged on love.  Let us echo the words of St. Francis that he spoke on his deathbed, “Up to now we have done nothing.  Now let us begin.”

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