Friday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Monica—(331-+387) Patron Saint of Mothers
1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, Psalm 97:1, 2, 5-6, 10, 11-12, & Matthew 25:1-3
Today's readings are an interesting mix of instructions regarding the contrast between faith and worry. In Paul's letter, he tells his readers to follow the "instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus" and "refrain from immorality." In Psalm 97, we hear the proclamation, "Rejoice in the Lord, you just!" Finally, in Matthew's Gospel narrative, Jesus tells the parable of the bridegroom and the ten virgins. He warns, "Stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour." I believe that "parables" make people nervous. Meaning, do we ask, 'am I measuring up to what Jesus is asking me to do?'
We now have to check and evaluate our relationship with God periodically. Regarding our faith, we have to ask ourselves, "Do I have downtimes or up times? What would happen if Jesus returns to us when I experience a "downtime?" Will I be like one of the virgins who didn't bring enough oil for their lamps? Will my meager faith be enough to save me? Scary, isn't it!
It seems then that our faith, our oil, requires constant replenishing. We should always be concerned that we have enough. However, when you think about it, there is no place where we hear God say to us, "I will only give you this amount of faith and no more. So you better hoard the amount I give you." But we all know that the supply of faith available
to us is inexhaustible. So why then should we worry at all? Unfortunately, when we worry, we lose our joy, and it affects our ability to serve God. When we trust God and put Him first in our lives, the joy returns, and all is well—less scary. May the oil in our lamps never run out!
Question of the Day: How will you prepare yourself to behold the bridegroom and come out to meet Him?
Prayer: "Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to stand before the Son of Man."