Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Thess4,1-8; Resp. Psalm: Ps97,1-2,5-6,10-12; Gosp. Accl.: Lk21,36; Gospel: Mt25,1-13
The life of Paul had become totally rooted in the Master. For Paul had accepted the loss of everything and he looked on everything as so much rubbish if only he could have Christ and be given a place in him. For him, our Lord was everything or nothing. There was no middle ground.
This great lover of our Lord had a burning desire for God. It was this same desire that he urged the Thessalonians to have. He urged them as his children in the faith to learn how to walk and to please God. In the inspired word he wrote to them in today's first reading, Paul urged them to abstain from immorality; that they should control their bodies in holiness and honour, not in the passion of lust.
The word therefore calls on every believer to holiness of life and abstention from all uncleanness. It calls to a just life and hatred for evil, so that light can shine forth for the just one and light for the upright of heart. The word calls on all believers to understand that there is need for greater fidelity to the call they have received.
As believers, our lives are therefore to be used as a preparation for eternity. We are called by our Lord to that preparation for the encounter with the Bridegroom. That the Bridegroom is coming is sure. What we are not sure of is the time, the day and the hour of His coming. This is why the Parable of the ten maidens in today's gospel should teach us the necessity to be assiduous in our preparation for the Lord who will come.
Our Lord urges us to be like the five wise virgins who took their lamps and oil. In other words, we must throw in everything into living just and holy lives while we wait for the coming of the Son of man. We must abstain from all that distract our attention from reaching our goals. We must struggle to overcome the weaknesses that pull us down. We must accept the graces that the Lord offers us each day to come back to Him. May the good Lord turn our hearts back to Him.
Today is the first day of September. We begin the four ember months that will end this year. May God go with us this month, grant us His blessings, heal us of our diseases, bandage our wounds, grant us peace of mind and generousity of heart, prosper the works of our hands, give joy to our families, save us from all harm, protect us from the enemy, seen and unseen, give us the grace to serve Him faithfully these last four months of the year. Happy New Month.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.