The following Homily is provided by Friar Sidney as a way
of enriching the ministry of the Word as presented through
this web site. Friar Sidney, who has spent much of his
ministry in India, is currently a Professor of Philosophy
in Rome. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The texts
used by Friar Sydney come from the Roman Lectionary - which in
most points agrees with the Revised Common Lectionary.
Wisdom 6:12-16. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. Matthew 25:11-13.
Let us pray today for good sense and joyous spirits. After all a
Christian is marked by good sense and a joyous spirit.
I always wondered why this parable speaks about wise and foolish
virgins. Could it not speak about wise and foolish men?
I have also wondered very much about life and death?
As we approach the end of the Liturgical Year, the Church seems
to place these very mysteries before us.
In the first reading we hear about Wisdom. In English, it is not
so clear. But in French, Italian and Latin, Wisdom is feminine.
She is a Woman! This might please some feminists very much.
Ever since Plato and Ariistotle, we are so used to categorizing
the feminine as someone who is mysterious and even lacking
volition and wisdom. But in the first Reading, Wisdom is not so.
She is very alert and watchful. Wisdom is categorized as someone
Further, even the Gospel, at first sight, seems to treat women in
a negative way. But I have often wondered why the parable speaks
about wise and foolish virgins, and about lamps and oil.
I like to think of all of them in connection with the Easter
Mystery and summmarized in the Baptism we all receive. It were
women who first discovered that the Lord was risen. Again, both
in the Sacred Triduum Liturgy as well as in our Baptismal
Liturgy, the Candle and Oil play important roles as symbols. The
Candle represents the Light of Christ, the Word of God. This
light was given to us at our Baptism. We were to hold it on a
lamp stand. We had to let it enliven and shine in our lives.
On Maunday Thursday, the Oil of the Catechumens and the Oil of
the Sick are consecrated. At Easter and our Baptism, we are
consecrated to Divine Partnership with that same Oil.
I like to think that the Virgins is every one of us. The foolish
ones just did not bother about carrying forth in life this Oil
and Light which they had all received through their Baptism.
We know the result.
When troubles overtake us, we are left without any faith, hope
and love. We also know the result that awaited those who did
bother to carry that oil and the light in their lives.
The wise ones are able to keep their light burning when troubles
The whole parable then boils down to Watchfulness. Have we been
watchful in the events of our life. Do we keep our ears alert to
the signs of God passing in our life? If so, our lives will be
bright, despite all anxieties. We will be gracious even in the
face of great disappointments.
Hence, if our faces are lit with the Good News given each of us,
we will be able to enter and face the most unawaited events in
life. Be watchful therefore.
copyright - Friar Sydney Mascarenhas and Rev. Richard J. Fairchild 1999- 2005
please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.