Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Although it is a gift it is something to strive to reach a higher level. Even Jesus who was conceived by the Holy Spirit had to wait to start His public ministry as He returned with His parents to Nazareth and there advanced in wisdom. (Luke 2)
In wisdom God’s timing is everything.
Today’s reading was about the wise and foolish virgins. (Matthew 25) As they await the arrival of the bridegroom I am reminded that Christ is the bridegroom and the church His bride. Maybe the foolish didn’t have patience to wait for God’s timing, thinking this is the plan & where is this groom. This morning’s homily pointed out everyone slept, because the bridegroom was really late, but it was the wise virgins who were prepared in case of a late arrival. Maybe they understood God’s timing wasn’t what was in their plan. Salvation history would have told them something, 40 years in the desert, 400 years of slavery in Egypt…. just saying God isn’t always on our clock.
This scripture asks me to stay awake because I don’t know the day or the hour. Had the foolish been awake there may have been time to run and get more oil. In my life it may be when I need retreat or a prayer meeting. I have been both foolish and wise.
Scripture doesn’t mentioned why the bridegroom was late. In my human thinking I wonder – Was he sick and had to recover? Was there a flood or fire and needed to take an alternate route? Did he have some additional discernment to do before taking the leap of faith? Or maybe he overslept?
But I know God knows the right time, so not late but on time.
God gives us lots of time to get prepared, as the next parable in Matthew tells us. The parable of the talents, we are all given gifts according to our abilities and we have the time to work to multiply the gifts. Invest our spiritual gifts, deposit the gifts where it can gain interest. We can always have more wisdom, more grace, more of God’s gifts.
And the last part of Matthew 25 tells us that there will be a judgment on being prepared, being awake, and using our gifts. Wisdom leads to feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the ill and those in prison. Wisdom leads to multiplying the gifts by enabling other to receive and give gifts.
Of course God’s timing is always perfect but in my life I often wonder if I am prepared to face Jesus. Everyday I face Jesus, in the people I meet and in the opportunities He gives to me to serve. I met him in prayer I meet Him in the quiet of my heart and I met Him in the challenges of life. Have I multiplied the gifts, have I grown in wisdom? I wonder when I met the day will people see Jesus in me and does my attitude, behavior, gratitude be ready for judgment?
As always more reflection and more action needed. –
The Boy Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52)
Each year his (Jesus) parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13)
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long-delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.