32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time November 12, 2023

Father Rick’s Two–Minute Homily for the 32nd Sunday of the Year A
November 12, 2023, Matthew 25:1-13

Don’t Wait till It’s Too Late

Something the Boy Scouts always taught me was to “Be Prepared!” They taught us so many skills to be ready for any situation that may come up. Jesus makes the same point in the parable of the ten bridesmaids.

In our Lord’s time, there were no single groups, offices, or jobs where a young lady could meet single men. A wedding was the only chance for a young girl to meet someone. Anyone left out would diminish the chance of getting married soon.

Getting shut out of the wedding is one thing. Jesus wants us to pay attention and take to heart that we are responsible for preparing for our master’s return. No one wants those gates locked when our time comes.

So how do we prepare? Oil is the key. Think of the vital part it plays in human life back then and now. We use it in a car, at home, and in cooking. Oil is medicinal and protects the skin, like sunscreen. Don’t forget its use for painting.

We use oil in the church when we celebrate Sacraments, representing the Holy Spirit’s strengthening, healing, and enlightening power. Think of the bridesmaids. They had beautiful containers and magnificent lamps, but they were empty. The oil ran out.

Here’s where the parable touches us. Have we run out of this oil, the strengthening grace of God in our life?

The “oil” of God’s action in our lives makes it easy to speak to him in prayer. The “oil” of grace enables us to live the Gospel and not allow our popular culture to influence us. Sometimes, we make costly decisions to remain faithful to Jesus.

Our oil can run out through neglect when we don’t replenish our spiritual life when we go through the motions – saying many prayers but never “in prayer” or communion with the Lord. Life gets busy sometimes, and a day or two without turning to the Lord can stretch out longer.

A crisis often comes, and we need to prepare. We have a beautiful vessel with a great appearance, but inside, we are running empty. We might even wonder why our soul becomes dry. The oil has run out.

There are some things we can never borrow from others, which is why the other five are not lending oil. We cannot borrow someone else’s faith, someone else’s grace, someone else’s walk with the Lord. We are responsible before God for our spiritual condition and what we have done with the oil given to us.

God gives us the means to keep our vessels full of His oil – receiving Jesus worthily in Holy Communion every weekend and making a good Confession frequently. We set time aside daily to pray the Scriptures, the Holy Rosary, and our favorite prayers.

Gospel Challenge:
This parable prepares us for the coming of Christ at the end of time, yes, but today also. As we look back on our lives, maybe some opportunities are forever gone, but we have other opportunities now to fill our lamps with oil so our lamps will be burning – all the time, 24/7. Bring these opportunities to the Lord and ask His help to stay close to Him.

Peace everyone.

Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.

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