Dear Church Family,
No oil! No oil! It has happened to me and it has happened to you. Your car light turns red and you are on the highway, out of town, or just about anywhere and right away you start getting concerned. You have procrastinated. You weren’t prepared. You wish you were ready and you hope you can do something about it. You can really ruin the engine of a vehicle without oil. Brothers, sisters and wonderful men and women of God, you have plenty of oil because you have the oil of gladness. You have a spirituality that almost proclaims, “I’m ready all the time”. I’m into “Kingdom living.” I feel joy, peace, love, generosity, compassion and empathy in my relationships and I also feel patience. I have plenty of oil. You know what? All I can do is encourage everybody else to have that same type of oil, but I can’t do it for you, you have to do it for yourself!
Maybe symbolically in the parable of the ten virgins, there were five foolish and five wise. The wise ones had what they called the oil of gladness. It’s all about their relationship with the Lord. They can encourage but they can’t give their oil of gladness. Everybody has to develop their own oil of gladness and be prepared. Maybe it will help if we look at this parable and the message Jesus is giving about not procrastinating and being ready when He comes. Maybe we are reflecting on “this oil” which refers to all the wonderful goodness and love you have in your life. Brothers and sisters, you are steady in the Lord by loving Him and everyone. You are fired up by the Holy Spirit to look for new ways of living and loving with your oil of gladness. Your oil of gladness grows and it won’t run out because this is the way you are.
If you start not to be that way you can immediately go to confession and start over. Say, “I can do better with my oil of gladness”. But I can’t give my oil of gladness to you except by my example. It is nice to be around people that are Kingdom people. They have the feeling of the Lord and the union with the Lord, right now. The more they live and love, the more the kingdom of God is present. When the final moment comes and swoops you right into Heaven. We look at people who have lived that way and we admire them and we think of them a little extra and say, “That’s the way to live”. Look around you during this month of November at all the people you have known and the people who have died this year or in the past, 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