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On Tomorrow’s Readings For Sunday Mass

November 6, 2011

Let us begin with a meditation from St. Augustine of Hippo to help us reflect on the readings:

Your first task is to be dissatisfied with yourself, fight sin, and transform yourself into something better. Your second task is to put up with the trials and temptations of this world that will be brought on by the change in your life and to persevere to the very end in the midst of these things.

— St. Augustine”

 

The First Reading comes to us from the Book of Wisdom 6: 12 – 16

12 Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her.
13 She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.
14 He who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for he will find her sitting at his gates.
15 To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care,
16 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 first reading talks to us personally and it challenges us to die-to-self; which means we no longer care for the things of this world; they seem distasteful and even when we around things that can harm our soul; it is like we cannot stand the glance of it or even to be in the same building.  Wisdom my friends is speaking to those who are beginning to live a spiritual life; a life that imitates Christ more and in this way of life they live and begin to deny their senses the pleasures and passions and desires of the world; that have kept them away from God and reaching what St. John of the Cross says, “A divine union with God; a type of marriage you could say; where we want nothing except to be united to God in the Divine Union; which is the perfection of all the saints.

She is saying to those souls and to those people; that Wisdom is very easily discerned by them; why?  They only long for Divine Wisdom and the Divine Union that comes with that.  They desire to give up the things of this world and to imitate Christ and be joined together with Him in Heaven or as St. John of the Cross says, to reach the top of Mount Carmel; but very quickly.

The soul must go through what he calls “nights” a type of purgation and enter into a Dark Night and it has the same types of Darkness as the normal night of the sky; 1. when it begins to get dark, 2. dark when the sun is gone, 3. extreme darkness or midnight and finally 4. the darkness or when the sun is just starting rise.

The senses enter into this night and it will be painful; because the senses must be purged or cleansed from all earthly desires and passions, then the will also must cleansed and then the soul; to make room for the King to enter into it; who is God and God wants us all to Himself; as He states in the first Commandment, “I am the Lord Thy God and I shall have no other gods before me.” 

Only the soul and person who have entered into the Dark Night or the Nights of Purgation; can be the one who desires Wisdom and we are not talking about the earthly wisdom that makes us fools; but Divine Wisdom itself that gives us perfect understanding as the reading says.  The one who truly desires her, the one who keeps vigils or watches over their senses to keep from sin or even the temptations that could cause you to sin; she makes hastes to you; because she knows that you truly desire to be closer to God and desire to enter into that Union with Him.  Those who keep watch on everything they do or say or think; she will free the soul and the person from care; or their senses will be enlightened and made more aware of the dangers and able to resist them better. 

The soul must be made worthy of accepting Divine Wisdom; the soul must be cleansed from things that would displease God and kept clean from them and then Divine Wisdom runs, searches for those that have been made worthy of them and appears to them on this path of becoming holy and appears to them in every thought.

But, all this cannot be done unless God has granted the grace for this to happen.  We can do nothing without God.

In the Second Reading From St. Paul 1 Thessalonians 4: 13 – 18

 

13 “But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15 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.
16 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;
17 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 we shall always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words”

Again St. Paul is saying what Wisdom said, “do not be ignorant and be watchful.”  We must guard our soul and senses from those who have fallen and fell asleep; be on guard against those that caused the others to fall into sin and that lead them into the eternal death; to be called up to the Lord when He returns; one must be prepared to enter Heaven at the end of the world.

The soul must be purged or cleansed and have all the sin and stains of sin removed; because nothing impure enters Heaven.  To be the ones Blessed to enter Heaven at the end and not Hell; the person’s soul must be cleaned and their senses and will must be cleansed from all things that lead the soul into destruction.  If one is always watchful and at prayer; as St. Peter says, “be always watchful, your enemy, Satan, is like a roaming lion looking for someone weak in faith to pounce on.” 

The readings all have one thing in common; to stay away from sin and things that lead you to sin.  The person must deny himself or herself the things of the world; if their desires and passions are formed wrong and want only the things of this world and not the things of Heaven. 

Then finally the Gospel Matthew 25: 1 – 13

 

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
7 Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9 But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’
10 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.
11 Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.’
12 But he replied, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

What can we learn from the wise bridemaids and the unwise ones as well?

They both teach us something important:

1. the wise bridemaids teach us to be prepared at anymoment for when the bridegroom comes; no one knows but they were ready late at night when the bridegroom sent out the person to call everyone to the wedding and when the caller came running through the streets calling everyone and the wise and unwise heard it; the wise lighted their lamps and were prepared.

When we are living day to day as Catholic Christians; the thought in our mind should be ever present to us; be prepared for death at anymoment, be prepared to stand in front of the judgement seat of God and give an accounting of the good and evil you have done.  We must be like the wise bridemaids and have our soul prepared; prepared that when we are called; we respond and go.  Our souls must be cleansed in the Sacrament of Confession from the smallest sin to the biggest sin.  Our soul must be that oil lamp with plenty of oil and when the time comes; our soul should be as bright as the lamps.

2. The unwise bridemaids or virgins as I have heard them called; they never went to buy more oil for their lamps during the day or in the past days leading up to the night where the Groom appeared and called for the wedding feast guests.  We learn never to take any moment forgranted, because you never know when the Groom will call and we won’t have time to go buy oil or get our soul cleansed; because we do not know the day nor hour when He shall arrive.  The thought of death and facing the judgement seat of God should always be present in our mind and never in the back of the mind either; as St. Benedict says in his Rule Book.  If we waste time on earth and never being prepared; the Groom’s response to those unwise virgins will be the same to those people who waited and it was too late.  “I do not know you and then they were thrown out into the darkness where their was wailing and grinding of teeth.”

Amen

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 8, 2011 4:55 pm

    Another great writing..I enjoy reading all that you write..Keep it up, and I know the Holy Spirit is in you..

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