Friday of the 21st week in the ordinary time

Theme: Humility in service

In the 1st reading of today, from St. Pauls 1st letter to the Corinthians, we see how he empties himself and own up to the fact that everything is dependent on God. He also points out the fact that the ways of God is different from human ways, and he has the power to do whatsoever he desires and uses whoever he wishes; simply put, his ways are different from our human ways. His actions are beyond human reasoning. “That is why the Greeks demand wisdom and the Jews demand signs, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and wisdom of God”. In our relationship with God, there is need for humility and faith, for us to be able to go along with him as he directs us. This is very important because the foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of men.

The gospel reading presented to us today from St. Mathews gospel is a popular one that many of us know, the story of the ten maidens waiting for the bridegroom. Jesus uses it as an analogy for the kingdom of God. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones did not think beyond the present, but the wise ones had to factor in the future also. This is a wonderful example for our concrete human reality as children of God. There are some of us who are concerned with just their lives here on earth, and as such will do anything to achieve their desires here on earth; without thinking about the repercussion after their life on earth. This group of people can be likened the the five foolish virgins, who ended up regretting their action, but it was already too late for them to correct their mistake. While the second group refered to as the wise maidens can be likened to those people who live their lives here on earth, with the consciousness of the fact that there is life after here, and their actions are guided by this fact.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, which of these two groups do you belong to? It is expected that as children of God we should belong to the second group that is conscious of the life after here and are guided accordingly. It is never too late for us to join this second group, if we are not there already. Let us work for our salvation, now that we still have the time to make the difference. May God bless his words in our hearts, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Friday of the 21st week in the ordinary time, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp