32nd Sunday (A) November 12, 2017
In case there are any couples here thinking of getting married soon — don’t think you can copy from today’s Gospel and have 10 bridesmaids. That couple had so many bridesmaids that they only had 5 sensible friends; they had to pick 5 more who weren’t very reliable. My record number of bridesmaids was 8. Bridesmaids and groomsmen nowadays are mainly decoration. In ancient times they had a job. The groom would come for the bride at her home and take her to his home, which was near dad (maybe next door – OUCH!). The bridesmaids’ job was to light the path between the two places with torches. The sensible ones were ready for the job — the foolish weren’t prepared.

Foolishness is not hereditary; you don’t inherit it. You don’t go out and buy it. It’s not like a 24-hour virus that passes — take two aspirin and you’re sensible in the morning.
BEING FOOLISH IS SOMETHING YOU DISCOVER WITHIN YOURSELF BY CHOICE It happens when you’ve gotten yourself into a situation that you have no business being in and you know you could have avoided the whole thing. We never thought about it; we aren’t prepared for the task at hand; we didn’t take it seriously. Maybe if I don’t worry about it someone else will take care of me…
The five foolish and the five sensible….Jesus says that the kingdom of God is like this??????? REALLY???
St. Paul often says Jesus is the groom of the church.
We are like attendants.
We are lights that are chosen to light and guide the way.
We are the light of the world; we are the light of Christ.
We attend the Lord. We are not decoration — we are on a mission!
Often times we want to attend to our Christian life, but we think it is ceremonial.
But Jesus says an attendant has a job:
Light the way of Jesus into this world.
Are we sensible or foolish?

Do we live our lives so we have enough oil to complete the journey?
If we decide that we will get around to our faith and religion when we have time…
…then we will be out of oil
When our values and beliefs and lifestyle are not a priority…
…then we will be out of oil
If the spiritual life is for some, but not for us…
…then we will be out of oil.

If we are so busy we don’t have time to be guided by the spirit in our life, to pray, to be people of
service, etc…
…then we will be out of oil.

It is difficult to be always ready…not to think that God/Jesus have delayed their need for us. We can do other things until he shows up. We are not guests, we are attendants. So we can’t doze off and sleep contentedly with empty lamps and empty spirits.
I’m making enough money — I can buy oil when I need it
I’m healthy — I can buy oil when I need it
(Just know that the parish death register is full of previously healthy people…)
Do not be foolish. The lord has gifted us – chosen us – as attendants. We will fill our life with the oil of salvation, to have enough when the time comes…
I was at the Iowa Veterans’ Cemetery in Van Meter for the Veterans’ Day Ceremony. I had the Invocation and the Benediction. Veterans’ Day began as Armistice Day 1918. It celebrated the end of WWI, and was thought to be the end of world conflict.
How did that work out for us?
No matter what we may think of any conflict, our veterans are ‘ever vigilant’.
Their lamps always full, always standing guard.
But we must admit that our hearts are often conflicted.
We support our men and women in the military in places of danger.
But we can go on with our lives while it is the poor among us who make the sacrifice.
They die in foreign lands but can come back anonymous!
A beautiful funeral — but soon forgotten except for those who are left to mourn.
We mostly believe that those who return home —wounded in body, mind, or spirit — deserve the
best care, but we fail to demand it.
PTSD is rampant and under-treated. One can’t go off to war; be in constant fear; kill the enemy — but
be un-phased by the horrors of war.
In many parts of the country, veterans wait for months to get an appointment, often ending up in a
regular hospital emergency room — many, uninsured.
We are happy to have someone else be vigilant, with lamps full and ready…
…..and we don’t even know that we, too, have a lamp to carry — lest being sure we are
prepared to defend our liberty.

The price of citizenship is not a free pass.
There is a sacrifice on how to work to secure peace and justice for all.
We should take heart from the Book of Wisdom, which, thank God, is portrayed as a woman:
She hastens to make us whole again.
She is found by those who seek her, but even if we do not…
…it says she makes her own rounds, seeking those who desire her,
and appears to those who seek wisdom and grace.
(the wisdom and grace that are sorely needed in our society.)

The Lord Jesus speaks through Matthew, in his age and to our age:
Stay awake for you know not the day or hour! Be Ever Vigilant!