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Homily: Thirty-second Sunday Year A

 

Reading 1: There is human, natural wisdom and there is divine, spiritual wisdom. One is a natural gift we receive in birth, but the other is a gift given to us in baptism. What is this spiritual gift of wisdom? It enables us to perceive things as God perceives them. We are able to see things from God’s perspective. Though it is given in baptism, we must learn how to exercise it for the gift to be useful in our spiritual journey. In the first reading we read: “She is readily perceived by those who love her and found by those who seek her.”

 

One of the ways of exercising this spiritual gift of wisdom was shown to us by Jesus, when he spoke words of wisdom for the benefit of others. For instance, when he saw people putting money in the Temple treasury, he noticed a poor widow and her gift. Jesus said she gave from her need to glorify God, while the others, though good, gave out of their surplus.

 

Do we ask God to be able to see from his perspective rather than from merely a human perspective? It is easy for us to be wise in the eyes of the world, but are we wise in what pertains to God? To be spiritually wise leads to right order and right relationships according to God’s plan.

 

Gospel: The parable in the Gospel ties in with the natural gift as well as the spiritual give of wisdom. It is called the parable of the wise virgins. Jesus uses a human experience of his day: preparing to receive and welcome a bridegroom for the wedding feast.  But the application is welcoming Jesus, who invites us to share with him the eternal banquet of heaven.

 

The natural wise were not prepared for the eventuality of any delay. On the other hand, the spiritually wise virgins were prepared. Because they wanted to share in the eternal banquet, they brought with them an extra amount of oil for their lamps.

 

Eternal life is a non-negotiable desire of our hearts, how will we live and act to be prepared to experience it at the time of our death? If nothing is more important to

us then we place a high priority on our readiness. Others can’t prepare for us. They can pray for us and encourage us, but is our choice.

 

For Jesus not to know me means that he knows that he was not the priority in our lives, not the Lord of our lives, even though we use the word.  Not to be known by God is tantamount to eternal alienation from God. We don’t know when our time will come. But like the wise virgins we need to seek God’s will in every situation.

 

Reading 2: Perceiving things from God’s perspective leads to revealed truth which natural wisdom is not able to penetrate. What is that revealed truth? Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection those who have died in Christ will live in Christ eternally and their bodies will be raised up on the last day.

 

We profess this truth each Sunday in the Creed. But are they words or conviction? If conviction, do we live each day as if it could be our last, so that we can be with God forever in glory? The gift of wisdom gives us a consolation in the beyond which mere human wisdom cannot do. Our purpose for existence is not to gain material goods and possessions, but to share life with Christ now and forever.

 

Paul, through the spiritual gift of wisdom came to understand that God desires not the death of the person, but that the person should live forever with him.  Paul came to the realization that there will be a resurrection of the body. The body will be re-united with the spirit either to share with God in glory or to be alienated from God eternally.

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