A Homily – The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

First Reading – Wisdom 6:12-16 ©

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 62(63):2-8 ©

Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ©

Gospel Acclamation – Matthew 24:42, 44

The Gospel According to Matthew 25:1 – 13 ©

(NJB)

The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Remember this!

God, the creator of the universe; God has nothing to do with the appointment of kings or the management of kingdoms.

Wise men and despots alike rise to the role of ruler, though it is more difficult for the wise man than the despot. Justice and mercy, kindness and grace, these qualities are always received as blessings to those in need of them, and the exhibition of them blesses those who administer them as well. However, the kind and the merciful are easily overrun by those whose thoughts are only for themselves.

A despot may rule for generations, founding dynasties that abuse the people whom they are charged to uplift and defend.

This is the way of the world, and this is the way that God made it, even though it is not the way God desires it to be.

God created the universe and our world within it, God brought forth human beings but not the character of human culture, God has left that in our hands, and God calls us to sanctify it.

Consider the words of the psalmist.

It is right to thank God; the creator of the universe for all the good things that come our way, but do not blame God for the hardships we suffer in this life, in these bodies.

The good and the bad come to us irrespective of who we are, what we do or have done or who we might become. There is no plan it. God is no respecter of persons, and God does not love anyone of God’s children more than God loves any other.

Praise God and give thanks for the good; do not dwell on the bad.

There is peace to be had in patience and contemplation, in meditation and prayer. Make your life a constant prayer for the grace which comes from God and brings peace to you spirit.

Let the peace of God within you bubble up like a fountain an overflow so that others may quench their thirst and be nourished by it

Be mindful of what the apostle says!

Jesus rose from death; this is the gospel, and it will be the same for those who have died in him.

The living have no advantage over the dead. Jesus will bring all of those who die in him, with him, to life everlasting.

Now remember the teaching of John!

All things and beings exist in the Word who is God, and not one thing exists without God.

Through God all things came to be and in God all things continue.

Be mindful!

The future history of the world has not been written.

Any suppositions about our future on earth are guesses. We can speak in terms of possibility and probability, but we cannot know anything about the days and nights to come.

There are thousands of ways in which the plans we have laid and the hopes which we cherish can come undone; lightening will strike, a tornado will blow, a meteor will fall, a volcano explode. A person in the fullness of their life may trip and fall, hit their head and die, leaving everything behind them.

The promises we have received from God are not of this world. God has promised to bring an end to suffering, injustice, hunger, illness. It is wise to believe in these promise, but not to expect them in this life.

Our belief in a loving God, our hope in the words of the prophets, our trust in the Gospel, these allow us to believe that this is true. But anyone who pretends to know for certain, they are over stating their case.

Consider the Gospel for today.

The parable is a rank betrayal of the way.

The writers and editors of Matthew’s gospel, did not understand the basic meaning of the most prevalent teaching that Jesus’ gave, “the last will be first and the first will be last.”

These imposters in the early church betrayed the teaching of Jesus providing justification for their miserly behavior and ambitions. Those who would withhold from others the gifts they had received from God under the mistaken notion that the gifts of heaven are distributed according to some standard other than the selfless love God has for all of God’s children, those people do harm to the promise of the Gospel and obscure the way. A person is not rewarded in because they are smart, people are not punished because they are foolish or unprepared.

The commandment that Jesus issued is simple: Love one another, as I have loved you.

To be a Christian means that you have made a commitment to love God with all your heart, and all your strength and all your mind. A Christian is meant to love their neighbor even as they love themselves. Jesus tells us that within these words the entire code of the law, and all of the teachings of the prophets are contained.

Jesus expressed his understanding of this law in the most beautiful synthesis: Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

This parable in today’s Gospel betrays that teaching. The writers of Matthew’s Gospel put a lie in the mouth of Jesus, in doing so they did great damage to everyone who sought to follow in the way after them.

First Reading – Wisdom 6:12-16 ©

Wisdom is Found by Those Who Look for Her

Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.

By those who love her she is readily seen, and found by those who look for her.

Quick to anticipate those who desire her, she makes herself known to them.

Watch for her early and you will have no trouble; you will find her sitting at your gates.

Even to think about her is understanding fully grown; be on the alert for her and anxiety will quickly leave you.

She herself walks about looking for those who are worthy of her and graciously shows herself to them as they go, in every thought of theirs coming to meet them.

Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 62(63):2-8 ©

For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;

  for you my soul is thirsting.

My body pines for you

  like a dry, weary land without water.

For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary

  to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,

  my lips will speak your praise.

For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God.

So I will bless you all my life,

  in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,

  my mouth shall praise you with joy.

For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God.

On my bed I remember you.

  On you I muse through the night

for you have been my help;

  in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.

For you my soul is thirsting, O God, my God.

Second Reading – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ©

Do Not Grieve About Those Who Have Died in Jesus

We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them; to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.

Gospel Acclamation – Matthew 24:42, 44

Alleluia, alleluia!

Stay awake and stand ready, because you do not know the hour when the Son of Man is coming.

Alleluia!

The Gospel According to Matthew 25:1 – 13 ©

The Wise and Foolish Virgins

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, “The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him.” At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves.” They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said “open the door for us.” But he replied, “I tell you solemnly, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

The Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

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