32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time

During November, we celebrate the end of Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures call us to keep in mind how this life is connected to the next. Like wise virgins who prepare for the bridegroom’s arrival with their oil lamps filled, we pray for wisdom to fill our days. Wisdom is the blessing of God that shapes our lives on Earth and helps us prepare for life in heaven.

  • To the point: In today’s gospel parable the five wise virgins can well afford to sleep- they are prepared with plenty of oil. The five foolish virgins also sleep during the long delay, but they should have been busy procuring the oil they need to greet the bridegroom and enter the feast. Jesus is warning us in this parable that the here-and-now is an important readying for his second coming, and we cannot afford to sleep it away!
  • Connecting the Gospel (Matthew 25: 1-13) to the first reading: The first reading reveals that wisdom is a virtue given to all who seek her, Even before our desire and our watching for wisdom, she comes to us. In the gospel, the bridegroom’s coming is assured even before we desire or watch for him.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: We rarely view our daily Christian living in light of the final coming of Christ. But that coming is the promise that gives ultimate meaning to our daily behavior and our ongoing hope.

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Matthew 25:1-13)

“At midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.”

Lord, we trust you trust that you will be
present to us. Until then we try to catch
just a glimpse of you: in midnight stars
and geese in flight; planets’ paths, in a child’s face;
in each sorrow; and all joy.
We look for you in the homeless, hungry,
in immigrants and victims of bias,
in caretakers of the environment in the sick.
Please bless our searching for you,
flasks full and lamps trimmed.
Let us find you in all things.

The First Reading

(Wisdom 6:12-16)

“Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed,
for he shall find her sitting by his gate.”

Come to us, Wisdom. Make yourself known
to each of us, but especially to scientists,
who are seeking you now.
Do not disappoint. We love you.
We will surely keep vigil
as we watch for you.
Help us begin to see what you do:
the depths of all things in creation.

The Second Reading

(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

“For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet
of God, will come down from heaven.”

We don’t know what we will hear.
The call of an angel?
The blast of a trumpet?
This much we do know:
we want to be prepared
whenever you come.
Make us ready, Lord.

Copyright © 2023, Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection