Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


 
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
 
 

Prayer:

My soul is thirsting for you,
O Lord my God. O God, you are my God whom I seek;
for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water. (Psalm 63)

 
 

Reading

Matthew 25: 1 -13

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.Five of them were foolish and five were wise.The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them,but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."

 
 

Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked.Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 

Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

 

 

Reflection 

“Therefore, stay awake!” In this week when we have set our clocks back an hour, I find this admonishment particularly meaningful. I don’t know about you, but I have found myself awake earlier in the morning, even without the alarm and sleepier in the evening, long before I typically head for bed. This month of November, as we move toward the end of the Church year toward Advent, we take time to remember those who have gone before us, welcomed into God’s eternal and abundant love. We are also invited to reflect on our own lives and our state of openness and readiness to receive God daily and ultimately to be called home to God.

As is often the case, here in Upstate New York, this reflection coincides with what is happening around us. The trees are losing their leaves; the skies are often a little grayer and the air a little colder. The natural world within which we live is in part dying while at the same time preparing to rest and renew itself for the promise of Spring’s new life. The earth is alive and awake with a more hidden life, alert to the possibilities of something new.    

As Christians, we too are reminded that even in times of sorrow, anxiety and struggle, we are encouraged to stay awake for the arrival of a God who will come at a time we least expect. God loves us enough to show up every hour of every day. God simply asks us to keep our lamps full, that is, to keep our eyes, ears and hearts open and watchful.

 

For further prayer:

  •  How has God “shown up” for you this week? 
  • What concerns do you bring to God today? 
  • What do you need to do or to change in order to “wake up?”

 

Closing Prayer

Thus will I bless you while I live;

lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.

As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,

and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you. (Psalm 63)