November 8: 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings: 1. Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalm: 63; 2.1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13.
As we listen to these readings, our minds are eased into musing on the theme of Wisdom, and its place in our lives.
The book that bears the title of “Wisdom” presents us with a distinctive perspective from which to gain insight into the acquisition of wise thought processes and practices. Lady Wisdom is the specific channel through which such things are sourced. She is, the text says, the one to be greatly sought after. She is therefore proposed as a most reliable companion for all the stages of our life. Without her help, this life is reckoned to become a struggle, because it would be lacking a wisely-planned approach to securing sure and genuine success.
Paul’s words to the church at Thessalonica are also a form of wisdom, based on Christian insight regarding faith and hope. In the face of death, Paul wisely counsels the Thessalonians to centre their thoughts on Jesus, who suffered, died and rose again for them. It is the Lord who has, therefore, shown everyone the way to eternal life. And on account of the strong and confident preaching of Gospel testimony, all should be greatly encouraged. For this is Wisdom revealed.
The story of the ten bridesmaids (five who were wise and five who were foolish) teaches a sobering lesson. Having made plans for meeting the bridegroom whenever he may arrive, the wise women can quickly go out to meet him without needing any extra effort. But the foolish, in marked contrast, miss their opportunity, and suffer the indignity of being excluded. The lesson is simple, to be immediately understood.
In sum, Wisdom’s role in our lives is indispensable. And as these readings testify, it aids the journey of faith, ably directing us to choose the prudent means by which to do our part in the implementation of the divine plan.