Reflections - November 12, 2017

“Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”  Mt. 25:13
In the Gospel this week the Lord speaks to us about “being prepared”, but in the world in which we live sometimes things come up unexpectantly and we are not prepared.  Modern technological advances make people become “owners of their destiny” living asleep without questioning the consequences of their decisions.
Today in the Gospel of the wise and foolish virgins we find the later to have little foresight when making important decisions in their lives.
The foolish virgins were not “wise” as the Gospel says and “brought no oil with them for the delay of the bridegroom”. 
What does it mean to be wise?  To be wise in the ways of God means to give Him the first place in my thoughts (that is the oil), as the Book of Wisdom 6:14 says:  “to help that my impulses be governed by a righteous conscience” where the Lord must be the priority in my life as I await His visit.  Remember:  “you know neither the day nor the hour”.  The Lord has many way of visiting us.  Sometimes it could be through a vocational decision to the religious or matrimonial life.  Other times it could be through pain, simple work decisions or an existential crisis when it is not clear the visit of the Lord and “the waiting lengthens”.  This was lived by many saints in their spiritual life, “the dark night”, and at that moment the great temptation is to fill our lives with “empty projects” which cannot fill the waiting of the Lord.
We need to learn from the wise virgins.  They teach us that the virtue of wisdom is obtained through prayer to the Holy Spirit (Spirit of strength) so that when the great spiritual tribulations arrive the Spirit will give us discernment to be “awake”, prepared, and alert to act with wisdom according to the will of God.  If my decision is God’s will then my conscience will be calm and I will have peace for the short or long wait of my Lord.  As Pope Francis says:  “aided with prayer and the Sacraments be vigilant and not asleep.  A sleeping Christian is a sad Christian.  He is not happy.  Be happy with the joy of Jesus” to enter into the wedding banquet.
Let us also pray to the Queen of Virgins, our Blessed Mother Mary, through the Holy Rosary and let us ask for the grace of wisdom to always live “with the lamps lit filled with good works of love and of Christian hope.