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12th Nov. 2017 - 32nd Sunday of the Year A

posted 10 Nov 2017, 04:18 by Veronica Yarwood   [ updated 10 Nov 2017, 04:19 ]

H.B. & Hw.


Allan Bloom, author of "Closing of the American

Mind" says, "Fathers and mothers have lost the

idea that the highest aspiration they might have for

their children is for them to be wise... Specialised

competence and success are all they can imagine".


When a youngster like Lincoln sought to educate

himself, the immediately available obvious things

for him to learn were the Bible, Shakespeare and

Euclid. Was he really worse off than those who try

to find their way through the technical smorgasbord

of the current school system, with its utter inability

to distinguish between important and unimportant

in any way other than by the demands of the



Perhaps we may be reminded of the well known

words of T.S. Eliot; "All our wisdom is lost in

knowledge. All our knowledge is lost in



And so to the story of the wise and foolish virgins.

The story makes but one point! One point only.

Let's not look for more or allow others to suggest

that there are more. The parable does not describe

the ideal Christian life where the wise should have

the charity to share their oil with the foolish.


The one and only point of the parable is

watchfulness. Don't worry about what the oil

stands for. The light refers to watchful waiting for

the coming of Christ. Lamps signify enlightened

minds. And the number five refers to the five senses.


So the word today is "Be prepared". "Be prepared"

not "Keep awake". And be prepared not by a

frantic search for signs that the end is nigh. The

Christian ideal, our ideal, is to keep on keeping on,

doing our duty at the proper times by living the life

of the Kingdom.


The life of the Kingdom is given us in the Sermon

on the Mount and in the Beatitudes. The life of the

Kingdom is total dependence on God, gentleness,

mourning the absence of goodness, hungering for

what is right, being merciful and pure in heart,

making peace and prepared for persecution in the

cause of right. That is Kingdom living. We are not

into the latest religious fireworks, visions and

wonders from round the globe. Even Pope

Benedict recommends balance in response to such!

Let's face it we can be word perfect in the account

of our faith but without the corresponding lifestyle

we are headed for disaster.


So we may all have our lamps. We may all be very

excited about the wedding or the Messianic

Banquet and able to sing, "Lord, Lord", but are we

prepared? Anticipation and endurance is salvation.

This is wisdom. This is the wisdom of the gospel.

And a final thought, "wise" means "prudent". And

the prudent are prepared to risk. The prudent are

prepared to risk all in the name of Jesus, who is the