A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Bartholomew Catholic Women’s Guild, Chicago ; and Knights of Columbus, St. Mary’s of Vernon, Vernon Hills Chicago in the congregation.

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Before cellphones, I remember how difficult it was trying to meet up with friends to encounter them in large groups. We’d say, “Meet at such a place or a time, or maybe I’ll be wearing a bright yellow shirt and I’ll be waving my hand, and that’s the way we’ll be able to encounter each other to meet up with each other.”

Well it could be very tricky trying to make that connection to have that encounter in a large group. But the cellphone has now changed most of that. With cellphones, it’s no problem to make that connection.

At the heart of the Gospel story is this connection or this encounter between the bridegroom and the 10 young ladies in the story, all waiting to meet him, all ready to go with him into the party. We’re told five bring the extra oil for their lamps. The other five, they’re not so prepared. I always would feel sorry for those other five because more likely that would be me, unprepared.

They go off to find extra oil, and when they do, the bridegroom comes and they are too late. They’re denied entrance into the wedding feast. The story today is meant to help us think about something that may be a very sobering thought. Will we be ready for the second coming of Christ? We can’t count on anyone to cover for us. We must be prepared for ourselves. When Christ will come, that’s not the important issue here. We don’t know.

What’s important in the meantime is our Christian living. What helps us to keep our lamps lit, so to speak? Attentiveness to God in our lives, time in prayer, going to mass or making time to watch mass here at Mercy Home, reaching out to show compassion and care for others. All of these are ways in which we keep the lamp of attentiveness of God lit so that we are ready when the bridegroom comes. We must be prepared. So today we might ask ourselves, how attentive am I lately? Do we have the right amount of oil in our lamps?