THEME: The wise and the foolish virgins (a call for us today to stay awake, because we do not know either the day or the hour).
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
HOMILY FOR FRIDAY AUGUST 26 2022
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
1 Corinthians 1:17-25
*ABOUT THE FIRST READING*
Today’s first reading is taken from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians. In this reading, Paul is saying, ‘What God wants is for us all to be holy’. How did Paul understand ‘holiness’? The end of that reading gives us a clue. Having declared, ‘We have been called by God to be holy’, he immediately goes on to speak of God ‘who gives you his Holy Spirit’. In other words, ‘holiness’ for Paul is a life that is shaped by the Holy Spirit, a life that is rich in what he calls elsewhere ‘the fruit of the Spirit’. You are probably familiar with Paul’s portrayal of the fruit of the Spirit, ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control’. This is Paul’s depiction of a holy life, a life lived according to the Holy Spirit
*ABOUT THE GOSPEL READING* In our Gospel passage today, we then heard of the story or parable of the five wise and five foolish maidens, which we may be quite familiar with. Those five wise maidens had backup oil with them together with their oil lamps while they were waiting for the coming of the bridegroom for a late night wedding celebration while the five foolish maidens were bringing with them just enough oil for their lamps, without any backup.
Dear Friends in Christ, our Lord is calling on us to be faithful to him, to stay the awake and vigilant, no matter how long it is. When he addresses us as ‘the light of the world’, he looks to us to keep the flame of the gospel burning in our hearts and in our lives, so that the light of that flame is there to greet him, regardless of the lateness or strangeness of his coming to us. In the times in which we live, it can be a struggle to keep the flame of faith alive in our hearts. Like some of those in the gospel reading today, we may find ourselves crying, ‘Our lamps are going out’. Yet, the light of Lord’s presence in our lives does not grow dim. He remains faithful to us, to the end. His faithful presence to us will help us to keep the flame of our faith burning even when the times are dark.
*LET US PRAY*
Lord Jesus, I desire to keep my lamp lit, the lamp of good works done with the desire to please and glorify you. Grant that all Christians will strive to enkindle faith, hope, and love so as to prepare for their encounter with you, whenever that may be.
Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
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