St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Times
Dear Church Family,
Today’s scripture lesson touches upon all our lives. The symbolic parable about the ten virgins can be any one of us. It is really about preparing. We have all been caught up in activities, events, or happenings and failed to follow through at an essential time. Like the time your oil light turned red and you were on the highway, out of town and you just remembered that you had forgotten to get the oil checked and changed. We all procrastinate, and we come up short handed and unprepared. That is what happened to the “foolish” virgins. They were so excited about the arrival of the bridegroom that they forgot to bring extra oil for their lamps.
Perhaps, we as Christians should look to being a little more giving, understanding, and helping of our sisters and brothers who fail to prepare for life’s events. The “wise” virgins refused to share their oil with their sisters and thus they were locked out of the banquet feast when the bridegroom finally showed up. Scripture says we are to be “Watchful for no man knows the hour when the Son of Man will come.” What can we do to help those who have failed to prepare for their future without jeopardizing our own selves?
Jesus often uses parables to teach us but His last instruction to the disciples and to us was very direct, “Go and make disciples, preaching and teaching in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We are to evangelize, love, teach, guide, and bring our “foolish” brothers and sisters to Him so that they can learn to know Him, love Him, and serve Him.
Brothers and sisters, you wonderful men and women of God, you have plenty of oil, the oil of gladness. You have a spirituality that almost proclaims, “I feel joy, peace, love, generosity, compassion and empathy in my relationships and I also feel patience. I have plenty of oil to encourage everyone else to have the same type of oil or feeling. I can’t do it for you, you have to do it for yourself!
Everyone has to develop their own oil of gladness and be prepared. We will be steady in the Lord by loving Him and everyone else. Look for new ways of living and loving with your oil of gladness. Don’t worry, this oil will grow and never run out because this is the way you are living now. It is such a wonderful feeling of the Lord to be in union with Him and our brothers and sisters. The more we live and love, the more the kingdom of God is present. When the final moment comes, we can look at people who have lived this way and we will admire them and think of them and say, “That’s the way to go!” Look around you during this month of November at all the people you have known and who have died this year or in the past. See if they have or had this oil of gladness. Pray that you will all the more have this type of gladness also. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob