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What a World it Would Be

So, stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour
Wisdom 6:12-16; Psalm 63:2-8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Matthew 25:1-1

Sermon Week Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 25:13

Rembrandt did a painting that portrays the Biblical story of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps some of you have seen it. A huge wave is hitting the little ship occupied by Jesus and the Apostles. You can feel the shudder running through the whole boat. The storm is all around. The rigging is loose and blowing in the wind. And the disciples are panic-stricken. It is marvelous to realize that amid the raging storm and the mounting panic and fear, the disciples had to awaken Jesus to tell Him about it. It wasn't because He didn't care or because He was indifferent. It was because He had such trust in God. He had sunk Himself so deep into the being of God for that period of refreshment that He was sleeping right through the storm. You can look at this painting and say to yourself, "I've got to learn that from Him: to have complete trust in God."

From time-to-time, we're all in need of a spiritual wake-up call. Those times when we need the sort of complete trust in God that will enable us to weather any storm. "So, stay awake," we hear Jesus telling His disciples and would-be followers in today's Gospel Lesson.

In today's Reading, Jesus sends us a wake-up call in parable form. He tells us that true wisdom consists in knowing how and when to prepare for death. It is the familiar Bible story of the ten bridesmaids, five of whom are foolish (unwise), the other five sensible (wise). The unwise bridesmaids find that they have been excluded from the wedding feast because they were unprepared through a lack of foresight. The wise bridesmaids are admitted to the wedding feast because they were prepared through the exercise of foresight. The parable's point is that foresight (staying awake) is the beginning of true wisdom -- the onset of living wisely.

The Holy men and women of the Far East have always made wisdom the supreme human virtue. The custom of disciplined solitude in the pursuit of wisdom profoundly affected Oriental religious thinking. For most [...]

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