Saturday, November 05, 2011

Found By Those Who Seek

November 6, 2011

Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time A

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known in anticipation of their desire; Whoever watches for her at dawn shall not be disappointed, for he shall find her sitting by his gate. Wisdom 6:12-14

For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

"The foolish[virgins] 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. 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." Matthew 25:8-13


Piety differs from the oil of a lamp that cannot be shared because the original oil is not enough for two lamps. Piety can be shared. Others can imitate our devotion and we do not have less even as our love of Christ makes it easier for another to want the same Christ we have. True piety makes us all happy and is contagious. In fact when another loves God more for having known us, it is often the case that we are able to love God even more. What we share of Christ in our lives makes more room for Christ in our world. What is marvelous about Christ is he is enough for all of us. Christ is the oil of the lamp of our love of God. We pick up from him what is right to do to love God even as God loves us in his Word made flesh. Piety is the brightness of our love of God. It is the strength we can put into anything in order to stand up for Christ. Piety is our love of God expressed in deeds. It flows more freely from our hearts when we are part of a community that loves Christ. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. We live our lives as children of God in all the ways we live out our love of Christ in what we do for the least ones of our lives. Anyone can love those who love us. It takes the love of Christ to be able to give our lives for the last, lowest and least ones of our lives.


Wisdom is what we seek by our study. Wisdom is found in the good people of our lives. People grow in wisdom and knowledge by their willingness to learn from those who have gone before us in the footsteps of Christ. Wisdom is the collected knowledge of those who have gone before us in the following of Christ. Christ is the way, the truth and light on the road of life. When Christ comes up in our lives he takes away the darkness so much more effectively than the moon at night or the sun during the day. Our souls pine for the light of Christ that shines out through the happiness of the good people of our lives. The Scriptures shed the light of Wisdom on our hearts as we come to grips with who Christ would be in our lives.


Our souls thirst for the Wisdom that comes from doing the work of the Lord. Our lives are mirthless without Christ alive in all we say and do. Our goodness brings us closer to Christ. The light of the good works in our lives helps us to see Christ at work in the doings of others. We judge people even as we judge ourselves. If we are working for Christ, our hearts tell us the same about the companions of our journey. Our work is hardly work when we are welcoming Christ in all that we do to make a better world around us. Our actions wed us to Christ as we seek to celebrate his presence in our lives. The greatest actions of our lives capture the joy of the resurrection and bring smiles to our lips and the lips of those with whom we share our joy. The joy of the Lord is the oil of the lamp of our lives. Joy is the infallible sign that we are doing the work of the Lord. There should be no sad sack Christians in our world. The space between heaven and earth is filled with the mirth of the Lord.