Will Our Lamps Be Burning Bright When the Lord Comes?

Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A

Fr. Jim homily

2 minute read


Wis. 6:12-16; Ps. 63; 1 Thess. 4:13-14; Matt. 25:1-13

Three main themes run through our readings today. They are prudence, perseverance, and patient hope in the resurrection. The first two are built upon hope in the world to come. Christianity is really one of the only religions that starts at the end and works its way backwards. In other words, we always keep our eyes fixed intently on where we are going, and Jesus assures us, “Where I am going you also know the way.”

The way of Jesus is firmly rooted in virtue, and chief among the virtues is prudence, which, as I have said before, is choosing what is right over what is wrong. As. St. Thomas Aquinas puts it, prudence is right reason applied to action. The Book of Wisdom gives us another facet to consider: “[T]aking thought of wisdom is the perfection of prudence.” Being prudent, therefore, begins with the mind and extends to our actions. I am reminded of my dad’s advice when I was a child: “Think before you act!” One way we do this is by disciplining ourselves to reject those ideas that run contrary to the Gospel.

The Gospel is our litmus test for life. Are we following in the footsteps of Christ or are we going our own way? One way to know for sure, is to become familiar with the Scriptures. We should know the Bible as well as we know how to get to 7-11. Imagine if our religious compass was half as good as our sense of direction in the world. By keeping ourselves rooted in the Gospel, we are keeping our lamps burning for Christ. The lamp is a metaphor for our burning desire to meet the Lord when he comes again. The question the Gospel asks us is: Will we persevere in hope and be wise and prudent enough to keep oil in our lamps when the time comes?

Given during the COVID-19 pandemic.

comments powered by Disqus