This Sunday [November 12th] we are celebrating the 32nd Sunday of ordinary time year A. Our readings talk to us about the meaning of true wisdom in our lives. What is wisdom? What does it mean to be “wise”? In the first reading from the Book of Wisdom [6:12-16], we learn that Wisdom is a gift from God. Wisdom is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and it allows us to know what is really important and essential in life. The first reading gives us the beautiful assurance of God: Wisdom is “readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.” So we have this beautiful promise from God: that if we love wisdom, if we love God, if we pray for his wisdom for our lives, our loving Father will grant us this gift.
In the Gospel of St. Matthew [25:1-13], we have the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins. The message of the parable is clear. The wise virgins and the foolish ones are symbols of the way that we should live. We need to make sure that we are like those wise virgins in the parable, that we always have enough “oil” for our lamps. We need to make sure that we are always renewing our life of faith — through prayer and through the Scriptures. The “oils” that Jesus talks about in the Gospel are the “oil” of our prayer; the “oil” of all our personal acts of piety and devotion; all our efforts to work with the grace of God and to grow in virtue and holiness.
What do we do when we discover that we are much more like the foolish virgins? Then we must begin to ask God to change us. We must beg for the gift of Wisdom. We must ask each day that we will be alert to the divine that surrounds us. We must ask Jesus Himself for this gift and know that He will give it to us if we are consistent in our asking. So often, like the foolish virgins, we think that we can always borrow from others. But spirituality is not like that. We must have our own and must live our spirituality with vigor. No one can live our lives for us. One mistake we make is to think we don’t have enough time to pray, or that we will get to it later when we are done with all our other work and goals. That is a big mistake. Prayer should be first in our lives. All it takes is a few minutes each day to quiet our hearts, to center our minds on Jesus Christ.
Let us make sure that our lamps are going strong. We should improve on our relationship with God by spending more time in prayer. Let us ask Mary, our Blessed Mother and the Seat of Wisdom, to help us to seek the gift of Wisdom to understand the plan of God for us. And let us ask for her intercession that today we renew our faith and start this new life — a life of faith that fills our whole life with meaning and with joy.