Theme of the Sunday: The Church Waits for Her Spouse. The first Christians used to often say, “The Lord is coming!” and they were always ready to receive him. The theme of vigilance links together the three readings today. The second reading describes expectation and vigilance in the community of Thessalonica. The gospel continues the theme in a parable about vigilance. The first reading can be taken as a commentary on the gospel. The gospel teaches us that “those (virgins) who prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord are wise,” while the first reading says that our most precious gift is the wisdom that comes from God.
Let my prayer come into your presence. Incline your ear to my cry for help, O Lord.
Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours. Through our Lord. ..
Wisdom is found by those who seek her.
A reading from the Book of Wisdom (Wisdom 6: 12-16)
Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her. He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates. To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm63:2.3-4.5-6.7-8 (R.cf.2b)
R. For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord, my God.
O God, you are my God; at dawn I seek you;
for you my soul is thirsting.
For you my flesh is pining,
Like a dry, weary land without water. R.
I have come before you in the sanctuary,
To behold your strength and your glory.
Your loving mercy is better than life:
My lips will speak your praise. R.
I will bless you all my life:
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet:
With joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you. R.
When I remember you upon my bed,
I muse on you through the watches of the night.
For you have been my strength:
In the shadow of your wings I rejoice. R.
God will bring with him through Jesus those who have fallen asleep.
A reading from the first letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
We would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA Matthew 24:42a.44
Alleluia. Watch, therefore, and be ready; the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Alleluia.
Behold, the bridegroom. Come out to meet him.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 25:1 -13)
At that time: Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ “But the wise replied, ‘Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut. Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us. ’ But he replied, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. ’ “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead. This is the hope we have through the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. St Paul in I Thess. 4:13-18 is very consoling. He offers us the hope not to mourn our departed relatives/friends like those who have no hope. There is no holidays or break in our spiritual life so we have to be alert always. It is a continuous striving. We have to watch therefore, for we “do not know the day or the hour in which the son of man will come”. We should be like the wise virgins in today’s parable carrying along with us always the oil, which symbolizes righteousness and good deeds. Our decision to follow Christ and to live according to his commandments should not be procrastinated. It is not the goodness of others that will save us on the last day but our own goodness/good deeds.