Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

(I Corinthians 1:17-25; M
atthew 25:1-13)

Light is the first product of God’s creation.  Besides Jesus himself light becomes God’s finest gift to humankind.  Light enables people to see and, by analogy, to discern and understand.  For this reason, Jesus is referred to as the “light for revelation to the Gentiles” in the gospel of Luke and the “light of the world” in John. 

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Matthew’s gospel, he tells his disciples, “...your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”  In today’s reading, which comes from his last public discourse, Jesus refers to light again.  The five virgins with enough oil to keep their lamps burning brightly have stocked their lives with good deeds and are now prepared to greet the bridegroom who is Christ.  Meanwhile, the five who whose oil runs out are those whose supply of good deeds is scant.  They will miss their heart’s desire when he arrives.

Many of us would help others if asked yet are hesitant to seek out opportunities.  As a result, many real needs go unmet.  Prisoners needing visitors, hospitals needing volunteers, and night shelters needing helpers only begin to name possibilities for those who desire to fulfill Jesus’ command to his disciples.  Such services take time, but the deeper question is commitment.  How much of ourselves are we willing to give to the Lord now so that we might be his forever?