Sunday, November 8th, Pentecost XXIII, Prepared
Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25,Psalm 78:1-7, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 25:1-13
Every time this parable of the ten bridesmaids is read, I have the same question; why don’t the five with oil share it with the five without? It seems selfish at first glance. But maybe this says something about being prepared for our own lives, and living with the consequences of our choices for ourselves. And not knowing when things are going to happen.
Maybe I am reading too much into this passage, but today we honour and remember those who risked their lives for freedom and peace. Hopefully doing so, knowing that they were risking their very lives in doing so, and not knowing when they might lose their life. This is two-fold, not only losing one’s life, but living with the possibility that it might be today, and if not, maybe tomorrow or the next day.
My father told us that when WWII broke out, his initial thought was to join the air force, but he was concerned that the training would take too long and the war might be over before he could see any action, so he joined the army instead. I wonder how many like him never thought that the war would last six years.
So imagine six years of living with the possibility of losing one’s life or being injured almost every day…………
We give thanks for this sacrifice, and the sacrifice of others in other wars and conflicts.
But this can be an inspiration for us today as well. We are facing our own question of when? When can we come out of isolation and stop having to worry and stay away from loved ones? We thought it might be over by Easter, and then maybe when the fall arrived, now we are looking at a second wave in some places, and there seems to be no end in sight. And questions about how we do Christmas and comes to mind.
The preparation and the second wave, this seems to be more about isolation fatigue and people gathering in too large a number without masks or social distancing with the colder weather inside. So for us to realize that we can do our part by resisting the temptation to give in to the isolation fatigue and ignore the warnings can help and hopefully speed up the process of gradual openings, and being able to gather safely with those we love.
Let us continue to support one another through this time and find creative ways of enjoying our time alone and together.