Gospel Reflection for November 12, 2023 – 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time

Sunday Readings: Wisdom 6.12-16 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18 Matthew 25.1-13

Jesus told this parable to his disciples. “The reign of God can be likened to ten young women who took their lamps and went out to welcome a bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five wise. The foolish girls took their lamps but brought no oil along. The wise girls brought flasks of oil along with their lamps. The bridegroom delayed his coming. The young women all began to nod and then fall asleep. At midnight someone shouted, ‘The bridegroom is here! Come out and greet him!’ At the shout all the young women woke up and got their lamps ready.”  The foolish girls asked, “Give us some of your oil. Our lamps are going out”  The wise girls said, “No, there may not be enough for you and us. You had better go to the dealers and buy yourselves some”(Matthew 25.1-9).

The three parables in Matthew 25 have judgment and Jesus’ second coming in mind. The parable of the ten girls tells us what the reign of God will be like. No one knows when the bridegroom will come.

We do recognize the wisdom of having oil in our lamps for the long night. In our faith journeys we need to explore what fuels our lamps and lights the path of Christian living for us.

The oil may be time alone in solitude, retreats, meditation, spiritual reading. The oil may also involve interacting in groups with others, sharing faith and insights, transforming and affirming one another’s spiritual experience. The oil may be Eucharist and the community of people who gather to remember what Jesus asked on the night before he died

For Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin his work as a paleontologist digging up the past developed into a vision of evolution culminating in Christ. All of us join in co-creating with God all that the world of which we are a part can become. Christ is the omega point. Omega is the final letter in the Greek alphabet. In this view God comes to us not only from the past in creation and in Jesus Christ but from the future in the lure to become all love and compassion can create.

  • To what do you liken the reign of God?
  • What do you find as necessary to your spiritual life as oil is to lamps or gas to cars? What keeps your spirit alive?
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